September 16, 2008

Positivity: ‘Guardian angel’ rescues girl

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:25 pm

From New Brunswick, Canada:

Published Saturday September 13th, 2008

When Michayla Benjamin walks past the home of Shawn Shephard, the young girl beams a smile in his direction and waves. Really, that’s nothing unusual but what’s behind the wave and smile is.

Michayla knows she’s waving at her guardian angel, the man who saved her life Sunday when play turned to terror.

A weekend deluge of rain had turned culverts in her neighbourhood from a trickle of water into mini rivers running along the sides of area roads, but as the water moved down the ditch and into a culvert, it became a torrent. The 10-year-old was playing in flood waters in a ditch with a number of other area kids when she was sucked into the culvert.

Shephard was a block away and standing on his deck in socks and a house coat talking to a friend and eating a bowl of noodles. It was around noon and a day like any other, but not for long.

He was just about to screech out to the kids and tell them to get out of the water when he saw something colourful pop up in the flooded ditch.

“I thought I heard a little yelp,” he said.

Then the little splash of colour he had seen disappeared, his vision blocked by his jeep that was parked in the driveway.

Shephard leapt off his deck and bolted toward the waters that raged past his home.

“That’s when I saw her floating like a little rag doll – head down in the water.”

The 35-year-old jumped into the water that was about a metre deep and grabbed hold of the drenched little girl. As he struggled to get to his feet, the pair drifted a few feet before he climbed out of the ditch with her in his arms. Soaked to the bone, bruised and scraped, Michayla only wanted to know where her pink Croc shoes had gone.

The raging water had carried the little girl more than a block as she bounced off the culvert’s concrete walls, rocks and debris. Shephard still can’t believe she even made it out of the culvert, considering she glided through the concrete without getting snagged on something and drowning.

“I’m just glad I saw her because I think she would have been dead if I hadn’t,” said the reluctant hero.

Rhonda Benjamin, Michayla’s mother, said her little girl had a guardian angel that day.

“Divine intervention – just so happens he had company at the right moment,” she said about Shephard being sent to rescue her little girl at the urging of a higher power.

Doing handstands and playing with the family dogs, Michayla said little and remembered even less about her brush with death.

“I was trying to swim and it took me,” said Michayla, wearing her prized pink crocs.

Her mom just smiles.

“I got them for 50 cents is the states,” her mother said. “She really has no idea how lucky she is.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.

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