Tragedy strikes good Samaritan who saved drowning girl
ROME, GA, – A Georgia father who was paralyzed from the chest down after jumping into a creek to save a drowning girl, has died.
Mike Patterson died on Friday, three weeks after jumping into a creek to save a stranger’s child.
Patterson noticed a 4-year-old struggling to stay afloat and immediately dove in to save the girl. Patterson suffered a severed spine and was paralyzed from the chest down after the incident.
“His life and the lives of others are forever changed by his courageous, split-second decision to save another’s life,” Patterson’s family wrote in a statement.
The girl’s mother told Fox Atlanta, “He’s a God-send basically. He was there. He was supposed to have been there.” Her daughter Javaeh Jones was not harmed during the incident, thanks in part to the quick actions of Patterson.
Patterson had no health insurance to speak of and had recently started a new job. Supporters started a trust fund to raise money for his mounting medical bills.
A Facebook page was started to help in the effort and has grown to over 72,000 followers and raised over $90,000. In the meantime Patterson was battling for his life as he started having respiratory problems, pneumonia, a blood clot and a bacterial infection.
The family posted this message on Friends of Mike Patterson Facebook page:
“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 (www.facebook.com/Friendsofmikepatterson). 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.”
The family is continuing to collect donations to pay for medical costs and to help the family.
The Trust will accept donations from the public at large for Mike’s benefit. 100% of the monies collected by the Friends of Mike Patterson Trust will go to benefit Mike Patterson, pay for Mike’s funeral expenses, or benefit Mike’s heirs.
Donations can be made through the below websites, or sent to the address below:
Make checks payable to “Friends of Mike Patterson Trust” and mail them to:
Friends of Mike Patterson Trust
210 E. 2nd Ave., Suite 205
Rome, Georgia 30161
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