April O’Quinn is one of five frontline workers awarded with a doll in their likeness.

By Meghan Overdeep
August 20, 2020
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April O’Quinn American Girl Doll
Credit: Mattel

With the launch of the “Heroes with Heart” contest in June, American Girl asked families to nominate a hero who has made a difference in their lives during the pandemic. This week, the beloved doll brand revealed the winners of the contest, including a 12-year-old girl named Lacey who nominated her aunt: a paramedic working on the frontlines in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond Ambulance Authority EMT April O’Quinn was one of five Grand Prize winners selected out of the more than one thousand nominations. Lacey and the other four contest participants whose nominations were chosen received a one-of-a-kind, custom-made American Girl doll and outfit in the hero’s likeness, along with a $200 American Girl gift card.

“My Aunt April was exposed to COVID several times and she eventually got it,” Lacey wrote in her nomination letter. “She fought for over four weeks to get over the terrible virus! When she was finally healed and released back to work, she didn’t hesitate for one moment.”

“I call her my Hero because she has personally squashed COVID-19, and she continues to help people who not only have COVID, but also those who are in need of other medical attention!” she continued. “I am so proud of my Aunt!”

O'Quinn told WYFF4 that aside from her niece's nomination, the recognition means a lot.

"Just honoring people that are out there every day, doing what we've done in the past and continue to do today, even though the risk of catching this crazy disease is still there," she said.