Everyday Heroes

Red Cross Gives Woman Highest Award For Her Heroic Rescue

The American Red Cross Certificate of Merit is the highest award the Red Cross gives.

Going to the beach is usually a fun and relaxing day, especially when celebrating a holiday such as Mother’s Day. But last May, Christina Theiss, a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida, was celebrating the holiday with her friends and family at a local beach when she spotted two boys being pulled out to sea by a rip current.

She saw their heads dipping below the water, and she knew she had to act fast. It was then that she jumped into the water to help them.

“I saw them underneath the water. I held their heads afloat until where I could barely just touch the ground and I took my toes and I sunk my toes into the ground and I just held them,” Theiss said to Palm Beach news station WPTV. “I held their faces up above the water until help came.”

WPTV

Thanks to her quick actions, the boys were unharmed, and lifeguards stationed farther down the beach were able to arrive to help pull the two boys from the water. Theiss said she didn’t even realize how strong the currents were until she came out of the water to find that her shoulder was dislocated.

And now, the Palm Beach & Martin County Chapter of the South Florida Red Cross has recognized Theiss for her actions and role in saving these two boys’ lives. Theiss, a former Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor who runs her own swim school, was recognized with the highest lifesaving award, The American Red Cross Certificate of Merit. The award is signed by President Obama.

It’s hard to know how to act in times of emergency, and Theiss proves that some quick, selfless thinking (not to mention having valuable training like she did) can help save lives. Theiss’ award from The American Cross was much deserved, and hopefully it serves as an inspiration for others to get trained in an area that may benefit others if and when the need arises.

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Check out WPTV’s coverage for more about Theiss’ reception of this award.