Everything seemed to start normally when this family from Pensacola, Florida, went for a swim at their local beach. However, when the 9-year-old son of the family did not see his father return to the surface after diving, everything turned upside down! Amazingly, the 9-year-old did not hesitate to jump in save his drowning dad…
A Father and Son Swimming
When the Williams family went to spend a sunny day at Quietwater Beach in Flordia, they didn’t think twice about it. They arrived, and, for the majority of the day, things went according to plan. However, just after sunset, the oldest Williams boy, 9-year-old Asaiah, asked his dad Josh to accompany him on one last swim. “I was up on the shore with these two younger ones,” said Audrey Williams, the matriarch of the Williams family. “They were kind of playing around where the ferry docks in, so it’s about 15 feet deep right there. Then they went down a little bit further, to the right, at the end, where it was a lot more shallow. They couldn’t see that well.”
To be clear, neither should have jumped into waters they could not see well, nor knew very well. Still, Asaih jumped legs first into the water and his dad followed him. Unfortunately, his father followed him headfirst…and never swam back up. “Asaih saw that daddy wasn’t coming up as quickly as he should have and he knew something was wrong,” Audrey said. Suddenly, things had gone from bad to worse…
Saving His Drowning Dad
“I had a little time limit in my head. If I jump in and the person I’m jumping within that certain amount of time (doesn’t come up), I go after them,” Asaih said. Believe it or not, despite having no diving training in the past and a 100-pound difference, the boy flipped his father over so he could breathe! Then, he swam with him to the land until other people noticed and helped. “Josh told me from the hospital, ‘I knew when I impacted, my neck was gone,'” Audrey recalled. As one man helped Asaih tug his dad out, another woman called 911.
Afterward, Josh first went to local Baptist Hospital, before being transported to Sacred Heart for C1-C3 fusion surgery Monday, a day after the accident. The future is bright for the dad after such an unfortunate jump. “He’s working on trying to get his feeling back in his arms and legs. His left side is worse than his right,” said Audrey. “Doctors are saying he should have a full recovery. He’s progressing pretty fast. He lifted his head and sat up in a chair (Tuesday).” Thankfully, Josh won’t need a wheelchair after he recovers.
As for Asaih, he has some inflammation in his leg from the jump. He’s recovering even faster without any medication, and the pain has been reducing every day. “I’m so grateful that (Asaih) was there for him because if he wasn’t there, my husband probably wouldn’t be here today,” Audrey added. “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.”