Georgia Man Dies After Diving Into River to Save Child From Drowning (Updated)
UPDATE: Tragedy has struck for the family of Mike Patterson, who became paralyzed after saving a young girl from drowning. On Friday morning, Patterson died as a result of complications from injuries sustained during the indecent. The 43-year-old will be remembered as a true hero. “Mike’s spirit and selfless actions inspired tens of thousands who sent cards, letters and emails and engaged in posts at the Friends of Mike Patterson Facebook page,” reads an entry on The Friends of Mike Patterson Trust Facebook page. “His life and the lives of others are forever changed by his courageous, split-second decision to save another’s life. Mike’s tragic story made news headlines around the globe. His heroic act stirred an outpouring of emotion and a desire to help Mike in his time of need. His caring nature will forever be honored.”
You know the saying “Heroes aren’t born, they’re made?” Well, Mike Patterson’s mother Vicki Davis would beg to differ. She explained to Fox Atlanta recently that her son, who is now paralyzed from the waist down after heroicallysaving a girl from drowning, has always been the kind of guy to jump in when no one else will.
She shared a story of how, when Mike was a little boy, he had begged her to give a homeless man a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so he didn’t have to eat out of a dumpster anymore. Just a few weeks ago, Mike came to the aid of a stranger who had just been in an accident involving an SUV and a tractor-trailer.
Most recently, while fishing with his daughter, the 43-year-old saw a stranger’s daughter slip under the water and fail to surface. In response, Mike dove off a dam and into the water below, which was no more than 6 feet deep, hitting his head, breaking his neck in three places, and severing his spine. Despite his sudden injury, Mike was still able to push the girl above the surface to save her.
"He's a God-send basically,” Vicki says. “He was there. He was supposed to have been there." She goes on to say, “He’s been like that all his life and he would give his life..." before trailing off into sobs.
Mike is being treated at Redmond Regional Medical Center, but since he recently switched jobs, he has no medical insurance. The family is asking fordonations through their Facebook page and will be providing updates on Mike as he progresses through his rehabilitation.
Our thoughts go out to Mike and his friends and family at this difficult time, and we hope Mike can find the strength to conquer his injuries. This world is a better place thanks to people like him.