LaPorte County boy honored for saving dad

2013-12-16T00:00:00Z LaPorte County boy honored for saving dadStan Maddux Times Correspondent
December 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

No store-bought Christmas gift can compare to the one a Union Mills family is receiving this holiday season.

Six-year-old Gavin Michaels is enjoying having his father around after saving his life.

"How often does a father get to say his son actually saved his life like that?" said a proud Jeff Michaels.

Gavin received a plaque last week from members of the Noble Township Volunteer Fire Department for his heroism.

The soft-spoken first-grader at South Central School said it felt "very good" to be recognized.

The boy was in an above ground inflatable pool with his 49-year-old father in August at their LaPorte County home.

Jeff Michaels said he has multiple sclerosis and epilepsy and had a seizure.

He fell off an inflatable raft and was struggling to keep his head above the water.

Immediately, Gavin ran into the house alerting his grandmother, Dorothy Michaels, and her friend, Jim Raines.

Jeff Michaels said he had gone under the water and was struggling to hang on to the edge of the pool to keep from going under again when his mother and her friend tried pulling him out, but were unable to.

Gavin ran next door and their neighbors hurried over providing the muscle needed to lift Jeff Michaels up and out over the soft edge of the pool.

"I coughed up tons of water," he said.

He was taken away by ambulance to IU Health LaPorte Hospital and released the same day.

Noble Township Fire Chief John Homan said Gavin did the right thing by not freezing or wasting time trying to get his six-foot tall dad out of the water by himself.

"He's a smart little kid and pretty sharp," said Homan.

Michaels can think of no gift better than the one given to him by his son.

"Thanks to his fast actions and doing all of that correctly, I'm here," Michaels said.

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