9-Year-Old Boy Acts Fast, Saves Dad in Diving Accident

Pensacola's Asaih Williams, 9, pulled his father to the shore after a neck fracture
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2020 7:15 PM CDT
Quick-Thinking Boy Saves Dad After Diving Accident
Audrey Williams holds her daughter Abigail, 1, as she listens to her son Asaih Williams, 9, talk about the incident in Pensacola, Fla.   (Gregg Pachkowski/Pensacola News Journal via AP)

"All I remember was that he said he broke his neck and he said he was scared," Asaih Williams tells the Pensacola News Journal. The 9-year-old was recounting the moments after his father, Joshua, fractured his neck while diving into shallow water. Joshua emerged from the bottom of the Santa Rosa Sound on his stomach, unable to turn over, and Asaih—despite a 100-pound weight difference—managed to flip him onto his back so he wouldn't drown, per the AP. Then he slowly tugged his father to shore, with bystanders helping in the final stages.

"Josh told me from the hospital, 'I knew when I impacted, my neck was gone,'" his wife and Asaih's mother, Audrey, recalls. The good news is that Joshua has been able to sit up in a chair and lift his head, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery. The credit goes to Asaih, says his mom. "The fact that a 9-year-old thought so fast in thinking, 'Oh, I gotta help, I'm the only one here to help him.' He brought him all the way back to shore all by himself. He's daddy's hero, that's for sure." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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