Boy uses Red Cross app to save father's life

Sam Latham, 11, honored by Red Cross for helping save father's life


ORLANDO, Fla. – An 11-year-old Central Florida boy was awarded the Red Cross Lifesaving Award of Merit for helping save his father's life during a trip from Tampa to Orlando.

[RAW: Interview with boy and dad whose life he saved]

On a drive back to Orlando last August, Steve Latham began having searing chest pain and couldn't talk.

"He had to talk through clenched teeth because he was in a lot of pain. I could tell," Sam Latham, Steve's son, said.

Sam said he grabbed his phone, opened up the Red Cross app and learned his dad was in big trouble.

"The first thing that popped up was heart attack and I was definitely starting to get freaked out by then," Sam said.

Sam then had his father pull off the highway and he called 911. Sam talked to dispatchers, describing his father's symptoms and directed them to their location. EMS was able to reach them and took Sam's father to a nearby hospital.

"(Sam) was so calm, so it really it made me feel a lot better," Steve Latham said. "It calmed me down because he was so calm."

It turns out Sam's dad had eight blood clots that traveled to his lungs.

Steve Latham said he's alive today thanks to his son.

Sam was trained in American Red Cross Junior Lifeguarding and was recognized for his actions on Wednesday with the highest Red Cross award.

"It's not something that only adults can do," Sam said. "Kids can actually save lives, too."

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