A man was injured after diving into a creek in northwest Georgia to save a 4-year-old girl who was in danger of drowning.
Michael Patterson, 43, was visiting Euharlee Creek with his son Saturday when he saw the girl step into a section of deep water and go under.
"He and his son were swimming and just so happen he heard the mother holler and scream that her little girl stepped in the water and it carried her down," said Patterson's niece Jessica Bogan.
Officials said Patterson dove into the water and pulled the girl out, but hit his head during the dive and was critically injured.
"They said he flat-lined and he drowned," said Bogan. "It's crazy for someone to break their neck and still save a girl. It's amazing."
Doctors originally said Patterson was paralyzed from the chest down, but Patterson can now move his right arm.
A Facebook page was set up to give updates on Patterson's condition. On Wednesday morning it read:
"Mike slept well last night, after the sedatives kicked in and helped him relax. Grasping the realization of what has happened to him and how his life will be forever changed has been, literally, an emotional roller coaster for him. Mike is a fighter. He is strong. He is not a quitter. But, even fighters have moments of "weakness" -- those moments when it is all too overwhelming for him to comprehend and fully digest. Please keep those prayers and positive words coming. They are our lifeline right now."
Vicki Davis, Patterson's mother, said he recently started a job installing Sheetrock and doesn't have health insurance.
If you would like to help you can send donations to the Mike Patterson Donation Fund, care of River City Bank, 288 N. Second Ave., SW, Rome, GA 30165. You can also email FriendsofMikePatterson@gmail.com.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, March 27 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-03-28 00:56:41 GMT
A breathtaking, oceanfront mansion on the Big Island has a new owner. The 9-plus acre "Waterfalling Estate" property sits on a cliff along the Hamakua Coast. It is 8,100 square feet with five bedroomsMore >
A breathtaking, oceanfront mansion on the Big Island has a new owner.More >