Carnegie Medal Presentation to the family of Adem Qorri

Volunteer presenter Tom Trento presents the Carnegie Medal to the family of Adem Qorri, from left, wife Blerta, and sons, Adan, 11, and Diar, 6.  Qorri’s family and friends gathered May 17 to see the presentation of Qorri’s Carnegie Medal for Heroism at a ceremony in New Port Richey, Florida. Tom Trento, a 1983 Carnegie Medal recipient, presented the medal.

Qorri was posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal in December for helping save the life of a boy from drowning on March 26, 2023.

The 6-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother were caught in a fast-moving current while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. With the boys was Adem Qorri, 39, who was on a boat anchored near the southern tip of Anclote Island with the boys’ father. Qorri noticed first that the boys had drifted into water 10 feet deep, and immediately reacted. He jumped off the boat, ran approximately 90 feet across shallow water and sand created by low tide, and then swam 225 feet to the 6-year-old. The boys’ father followed Qorri until he reached the brother at a point about 150 feet from shore. After swimming the brother to safer water and calming him, the father saw Qorri facedown in the water with the boy hanging onto his back. A tour boat pulled up next to them and the captain lifted the boy onto the boat. The tour boat captain was unable to pull Qorri aboard and jumped into the water to support him and keep his head above the surface of the water. A speed boat arrived, and both boat captains pulled Qorri aboard. They started chest compressions as they began the 3-mile journey to the closest boat ramp. The boy and his brother were not injured. Qorri was immediately put into an ambulance and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had drowned.

The boys’ father, Dale Furness, spoke at the ceremony. Qorri was Furness’s best friend. Blerta Qorri expressed gratitude for the support from family and friends during this difficult time. 

Trento received the Carnegie Medal after saving the driver of a burning vehicle in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, in 1982.