In May, a 2-year-old boy was playing in his front yard on Banning Road in the Greater Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township when he ran out into the street—and straight into the path of a car.
As he lay in the street lifeless, Angelika Nunn was a few blocks back, lamenting what she thought was a mistake. Nunn was catching a ride to her job at Light of Hope Services with her brother when he took a wrong turn onto Banning. Now, the two were stuck in the stopped traffic. When they asked a passerby what the holdup was, he told them about the boy.
In that one instant, everything changed. What Nunn thought was a wrong turn ended up being a turn of fate.
Nunn opened her door and ran past the long line of cars to where the boy was laying. A certified Red Cross CPR instructor, Nunn had taught dozens of people how to save lives, but this was the first time she had been called upon to utilize her skills in an emergency. She knelt down beside the boy, and her training kicked in. She began giving him CPR compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, utilizing the Red Cross safety face shield she carried on her keychain.
After an exhausting few moments, the boy came back to life. He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he fully recovered.
Each year, the American Red Cross teaches roughly 4 million people across the nation lifesaving skills, and when one of those people acts in a manner of heroism and utilizes those skills to save another human being, as Nunn did, the Red Cross likes to recognize their actions.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the American Red Cross honored Nunn for her “selfless and humane action in saving a life” by presenting her with the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.
This is the highest award given by the American Red Cross to an individual who saves or sustains a life utilizing skills and knowledge learned from the Red Cross. The Certificate is signed by President Barack Obama, as well as American Red Cross Chairwoman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.
Less than 100 people each year receive this award nationally.
As part of the Certificate, Nunn also received a citation for exemplifying “the highest degree of concern of one human being for another who is in distress,” as well as a medal with corresponding lapel pin and a document noting the history of the Certificate of Merit.
And, she was given two Red Cross mouth-to-mouth resuscitation safety face shields for her keyring to replace the one she used saving the boy, because even though no one ever knows when they might need to use it, in Nunn’s case, it’s certain it will be used.