Alexis Shymanski was recognized for her bravery after saving her mother and brother after a car crash last summer.
Alexis, who goes by Lexi, was secured in her car seat in the back of the SUV when Angela Shymanski, her mother, fell asleep at the wheel while driving home. The family home is located in Prince George, B.C.
The car went down a 12-meter embankment, slamming into a tree before coming to a stop on its roof.
In the ceremony held at the Edmonton police headquarters, the Royal Canadian Humane Association described the aftermath of the crash, explaining how Lexi woke up to her 10-week-old brother’s cries.
She tried waking her mother, to no avail. She then decided to take action.
Lexi got herself out of the car seat’s five-point harness, pushed away the airbag, kicked the jammed door open and then climbed out of the badly damaged vehicle.
Barefoot, she scrambled up the steep slope and managed to flag down a passing motorist.
Her mother was resuscitated twice on the way to a hospital in Edmonton. She had suffered a broken back and extensive internal injuries, and had to undergo surgery. Her brother stayed in hospital for six days as doctors tended to his injuries.
Lexi only suffered a sore neck and a scratch on her chin.
“Her heroic efforts certainly saved her mother’s and brother’s life,” the association said as they awarded Lexi a Bronze Medal for Bravery.
Travis Shymanski talked to reporters after the ceremony, telling them that a few months before the crash, he and his wife instructed Lexi on how to get help in case of an emergency.
He had a message for other parents: “Prepare your kids. Don’t try and shelter them from anything. It’s impressive what they can do and what they retain from the little bit of information that you give them.”
Lexi stated that her only plan for the medal was to “take it to school for show and tell.”
The association also commended Lise Lord and Richard Nowicki, two motorists who helped with the rescue.