The good Samaritan who was paralyzed while saving a 4-year-old girl from drowning in a rushing creek two weeks ago has died, according to family members.
A press release posted Friday on Facebook and on the friendsofmikepatterson.com website said: “It is with great regret and sorrow that we announce that good Samaritan Mike Patterson passed away early this morning,”
Patterson, 43, dove into the water to save Javea Jones after he heard her scream as she was swept down Euharlee Creek in Rockmart on June 11. His 9-year-old son watched from the shore.
Patterson broke his neck on the rocky bottom and was paralyzed from the neck down.
He was taken to Redmond Medical Center in Rome and four days later, Action News Channel 2 reported that Patterson had contracted pneumonia. By June 18, he was battling an infection and unable to breath on his own.
Patterson was a Sheetrock installer who had just started a new contracting job and did not yet have health insurance. Supporters have sent donations through a Mike Patterson Donation Fund, according to Channel 2. Media mogul Tyler Perry donated $50,000 to this fund.
Supporters from around the world also have sent Patterson cards thanking him and wishing him well. Patterson’s mother, Vicki Jones Roberson, told Channel 2 that she read cards to Patterson every day.
“When I quit reading, thinking he’s sleeping and I set them down, he opens them eyes up and looks at me like, ‘Read me more,”’ she said.
Jones was the second person in two weeks that Patterson had risked his life to save. He and another man saved a tanker truck driver from his burning rig after an accident.
“He’s a hero and an angel,” Roberson said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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