By Carolyn Gusoff

JERICHO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A grand prize was given Wednesday to a front-line worker who was selected out of more than 1,000.

The Long Island nurse was awarded for her charitable work while she was also caring for the sick and dying, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Northwell Health ICU nurse Ally Marcello gets accolades often, but she’s also getting a new car.

The 24-year-old was chosen from a pool of 1,400 health care heroes who go above the call of duty.

“Thank you so much!” Marcello said.

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The new Jeep was a gift from VIP Auto Group and Westbury Jeep. They wanted to give back to front-line workers after an owner nearly lost his life to COVID-19.

“These people have big hearts and without any fear whatsoever they came in and took care of their patients. We wanted to give back to them and make sure that we said thank you,” owner Keith Donnelly said.

COVID VACCINE

It was a thank you for going the extra mile, while tending to the sick.

“After shifts of COVID, mentally and physically shot and drained, she would go in our basement, make blankets,” said David Marcello, Ally’s father.

David Marcello nominated his daughter, his hero he said for starting ISeeU blankets, hand knotted blankets she learned how to make as a Girl Scout from donated fleece. Volunteers made and distributed them to hospital patients and bereaved families.

“At only 24 years of age, I’ve seen more death and dying than I would have ever thought I would see,” Amy Marcello said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

It is a small comfort that told patients they matter.

“A lot of patients express that they feel like that they are just another number in the bed,” she said. “The whole premise is to say that we see them and that we are there to root them on.”

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One thousand blankets were given away, plus two more to the dealership.

“This car to me is my ISeeU blanket, the validation that someone sees there is still good in the world, there’s still people who like to do good things,” Amy Marcello said.

“It’s one person making a big difference, and we can use that today,” David Marcello added.

Ally Marcello said she will use her new wheels to get to and from the ICU, where she hopes now to make ISeeU blankets a national charity so that more patients know they’re never forgotten.

The dealership has been giving a car away each year to a deserving veteran, but this year chose a health care worker due to COVID-19.

CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff contributed to this report

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