Quick thinking, heroic action, and lifesaving CPR help teenager save grandmother.

Story by Chelsea White / Red Cross Cascades Region

Sixteen year-old Tayen Landers receives the Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action for his heroic acts on November 15, 2023.

As Tayen’s grandmother, Patty was driving him home from school, she mentioned she wasn’t feeling well. As she continued to drive along Middle Road in Medford, Oregon, she complained that she just didn’t feel right. Concerned for his grandmother, Tayen called his dad who advised that he call 911. As they approached a major intersection, Patty lost consciousness. The car began to accelerate and drift into traffic. Tayen jumped into action, removing his seatbelt, hitting the brakes, and steering the car out of harm’s way, narrowly avoiding a collision.

Although out of danger from other vehicles, Tayen noticed his grandmother was not breathing. Again, he responded quickly by dragging her out of the car to the side of the road and began administering CPR. When Jackson County Sheriff officers arrived on the scene, they confirmed that Tayen’s actions absolutely saved his grandmother’s life.

Choking back tears, his grandmother Patty Landers told us: “I just remember waking up on the street, looking up to him and he was saying ‘Come on Gram, stay with me gram.'”

Hear more about the events that day in Tayen and his grandmother’s own words HERE.

In addition to the Red Cross Life Saving Event, Tayen has also been recognized by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. At their recognition ceremony, Tayen credited his father who is a health instructor “that taught [him] a lot of the stuff he knows”. And when given a chance to accept this well-deserved recognition, Tayen took the time to humbly express gratitude for the dispatchers and sheriffs who helped them. When the microphone was passed to his grandmother, a tearful Patty Landers expressed her love for “this amazing young man” and thanked him for saving her life.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Lusch/Rogue Valley Times.

With half a million cardiac arrests each year, learning the skills of CPR could be vital to help save the life of someone you know and love. As evidenced by Tayen’s actions, help can’t wait. CPR training isn’t just for healthcare workers and emergency responders, it could save your loved one’s life.

“Just do it. You never know when you are going to need it, “says tayen.

Visit the Red Cross Training Services website to find classes near you so that you’re ready when the time comes.