Red Cross honors teen who saved toddler's life


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OGDEN -- Every year the Red Cross of Northern Utah honors people in the community who have done something extraordinary. Among those honored Tuesday morning, Todd Kanno, who now has a unique relationship with a 3-year-old girl.

Amara Young
Amara Young

Amara Young just turned 3 years old last month, and Todd, the 19-year-old who saved her life, was at the party to celebrate.

"It was overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness," Todd says.

Todd doesn't like a lot of attention, but during a Red Cross breakfast honoring local heroes in Northern Utah he got a lot of it.

"It allows us to bring our community together and honor our heroes in our community who had done extraordinary things. These are people who have impacted our communities in large ways," says Stephanie Christiansen, with the American Red Cross of Northern Utah.

The group watched Todd's story, along with those of several other local heroes who have impacted the community for good.

"It's a pretty incredible story, and [incredible] young man," Christiansen says.

Photo of the car Amara Young was in, taken by the Utah Department of of Public Safety shortly after the crash.
Photo of the car Amara Young was in, taken by the Utah Department of of Public Safety shortly after the crash.

Last September in Box Elder County, Todd saw a car go down into a ditch along Interstate 15, so he pulled over.

"I ran down to the drainage ditch," Todd says. "There was the mother and two kids already out of the water."

But another child, Amara Young, was still inside the car, underwater.

"All I could see was the bottom of the car seat and her foot sticking out of the water," Todd says.

He pulled her out and performed CPR on her. She spent a couple weeks in Primary Children's Medical Center and is now doing just fine.

Todd stays in touch with the family, though they were not able to attend Tuesday's breakfast. The young hero says he would do it all over again if he had to.

"It's just how my parents raised me, what I was taught. When you see someone who needs help to stop and help them," Todd says.

There were a total of eight awards handed out Tuesday morning, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, an International Award, and three Good Samaritans awards -- for an adult, youth and teen. That's the one Todd received.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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