Aurora police officers made sure a 9-year-old boy was able to celebrate Thanksgiving after he fell into a freezing retention pond going after a football.
An Illinois police officer saved a 9-year-old boy and a woman who had fallen into a cold retention pond Wednesday.
The rescue happened at about 4:30 p.m. when Aurora Police Officer Andrew Soderlund and his partner responded to a call about a boy struggling to get out of a retention pond, WBBM-TV reports. The boy had fallen through the ice and into the water while trying to retrieve a football
“You’re kind of playing that scenario through your head—what exactly are we going to see when you we there?” Soderlund said during a press conference.
Once the officers reached the scene, they found the boy far out in the water, as well as woman who had become stranded trying to help the boy. Soderlund then grabbed a rope from his cruiser.
“I know I’m not an Olympic swimmer, so I knew that hey, I’m not going to be able to swim with the two other people in the water,” he said.
Tying the rope around himself, Soderlund shed his gear to be as light as possible and jumped into the frigid water
“That adrenaline dump that goes on in situation like that—I don’t remember the cold at all,” he said.
“I originally started walking out, I was like, ‘Wow, this isn’t bad—I can stand up,’ and then it just dropped,” Soderlund added. “It felt like it was no bottom.”
Soderlund and the officers were able to get the boy and woman to safety, and the first priority then was getting warm.
“One of my partners actually, he helped me unbutton my shirt because my fingers weren’t working,” Soderlund said.
The boy was taken to the hospital to be evaluated, but no one was injured in the incident. The boy’s family also was immensely grateful for the officers’ heroic efforts, actions that Soderland considered to be just part of the job.
“I thought my son was not going to be here to see Thanksgiving,” the boy’s mother said in the Facebook video posted by police Thursday. “Somebody was out there to call 911.”
Not only was the boy alive to celebrate the holiday, but he also had a new football, courtesy of the police officers.