Michael Patterson, 43 (pictured above right), of Rockmart, Georgia, was paralyzed from the chest down on Saturday after jumping into Euharlee Creek to save 4-year-old Javaeh Jones who was swept away by a strong current, reports the Huffington Post.
Rockmart Fire Department Sgt. Chad King said Javaeh,who was with her mother, Carlisa Jones, went underwater after stepping into a dangerous section of the creek.
After hearing her mother’s screams, Patterson dove into the water and was able to rescue Javaeh, but his neck was broken in three places and his spinal cord severed after he hit his head saving the young girl.
Vickie Jones Roberson, Patterson’s mother, says since he recently started a job installing sheet rock, his medical insurance has not kicked in.
Friends and family have set up an online fund for Patterson — who is currently being treated at Emory Hospital –which has collected nearly $63,000 as of press time.
Patterson’s devastated family, including 9-year-old-son Cole (pictured above left), who was present when his father saved the life of 4-year-old Javaeh, are left with still mounting medical bills. And though Patterson himself has a long, precarious road to recuperation, Javaeh’s mother said it was God’s will.