A brave teenager is hailed as a ‘guardian angel’ after jumping into a channel to prevent a toddler from drowning.
15-year-old Ryley Ferguson was on his daily walk with his two dogs last Sunday (May 3) when he saw little Reggie fall while alone.
The quick-thinking teenager threw off his shoes and jacket and ducked in to rescue the 15-month-old toddler who sank to the bottom of the canal in Knottingley, West York.
The aspiring electric student said he didn’t hesitate to dive in because he knew the toddler’s life was at stake.
Ryley from Knottingley, West Yorks., Said, “I’m just so glad I was there and managed to dive, to save him in time.
“I didn’t have time to think, I was just walking my dogs when I saw him fall.
“I took off my shoes and my jacket and dived in – at that point it was pure instinct.
“It all happened in a fraction of a second and suddenly I found myself at the bottom of the canal and grabbed it.
“I think I was pretty calm, but I was confused because the water was so cold and my heart was beating.
“But all that mattered in the end was that he was fine.”
He added, “If I wasn’t there, if I walked by thirty seconds later, he could have died. I had to save him.”
Ryley struggled to get out of the canal while holding the toddler, but after shouting for help, two men ran and pulled out of the water.
Once they got out, little Reggie started crying, but Ryley said the toddler calmed down after reassuring him and said, “Don’t worry, I got you.”
Reggie’s 33-year-old mother, Rebecca Hampton, has hailed Ryley as their ‘guardian angel’ after being reunited with her son shortly after his rescue.
She thought Reggie was in the house working in the yard, but the adventurous boy had walked into the canal behind their house.
But the single mom of two says the families now share a “bond for life” and Reggie will grow up knowing what Ryley has done.
Rebecca, from Knottingley, West York., Said, “I keep saying Ryley is our guardian angel, he saved my boy and saved my life.
“Reggie will grow up knowing who Ryley is and what he’s done. He’s our superhero.
“A neighbor had rushed into our house and said Reggie was in the canal.
“The world stopped for me at the time, I was in shock.
“I started yelling at him, it must have taken a few minutes at the most, but it felt like an eternity.
“I can’t tell you how much relief I felt seeing my beautiful boy.
“I can’t thank Ryley enough, I gave him a card with some money, but no money in the world will ever cover what he did for me.”
Ryley’s mother, Amy, was working as a cook in a congregation nursing home when her son performed his heroic act and couldn’t believe what was happening.
The 35-year-old said she is proud of her son and couldn’t imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t been there.
The married mother of two said, “I couldn’t be prouder of Ryley, he was so brave and saved that boy’s life.
“As a mother, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if I lost one of my children – it’s a terrible thought.
“I was shocked at first, but then I was relieved that Ryley helped prevent a real tragedy.”
An inspired neighbor set up a gofundme page to raise money for Ryley, but the teen refused to take money and asked people to donate it to the NHS.
Rebecca has launched a campaign for Ryley to receive a Pride of Britain award for saving her son.