"I didn't know what it was at first, and then I started reading it and then I got excited," Edwards said. "Like wow, I'm really getting recognized as a hero."
In May of last year, the 17-year-old rescued his toddler nephew from the family's burning Overbrook home; Edwards nearly died himself.
"When I did my headcount he wasn't out there," said Edwards' mom Rachel Noel. "Rudy just jumped up, ran in, came out, threw him to me and passed out."
Edwards collapsed from smoke inhalation. Paramedics revived him. Then both Edwards and his nephew were taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where they both fully recovered.
"I was like he's really being recognized for doing something that he would have done for anyone," said Noel.
The Carnegie Medal spotlights people across the country for risking their lives for others in life-threatening situations.
Edwards is one of 18 recipients and one of two teens to receive the honor this year.
In fact, it was an anonymous Action News viewer who nominated him and tells us they were "so touched by Rudy's selflessness that they wanted others to know his story."
It is recognition that has left the quiet teen full of emotions.
"I feel excitement, then I feel shy at some point," said Edwards. "It's just mixed emotions."
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission described Edwards' act of heroism as follows:
Seventeen-year-old Brent Rudy Edwards rescued his toddler nephew, Bryce Noel, from a burning home May 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. After fire broke out in a row house, adults inside evacuated four young children from the home. His mother roused Brent from sleep, and he followed his family outside, where his mother realized that Bryce, 23 months, was still inside. Despite thick, black smoke that had filled the first floor, Brent re-entered the house to search for his nephew. Hearing the toddler cough, Brent crawled inside the house 12 feet to him, clutched him to his chest, and ran toward the light at the front door. Once outside, he handed Bryce to his mother and collapsed, losing consciousness. Arriving paramedics revived him, and he and Bryce were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. They recovered. Bryce was not burned.
Edwards will officially receive his medal in 2019.
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