Life, a hero, and family

My mate Kris and I.

I’m writing this story for many reasons. It is an extremely sad story, yet one that I think we can all learn from. I hope this story could save someone’s life one day and also because my cousin is a hero. He put his life on the line in an attempt to save someone else’s. 

Last night I was lucky to talk to my cousin Kris George back home in Australia. We try to catch up every week and continually motivate each other to pursue our dreams relentlessly and stay focused in the tough times. Everyone is so busy these days it seems hard to get time to catch up, it is the hardest part for me being over here, not being able to see my family and friends.

Kris and I have been best mates from a young age. We have fished, hunted and explored every place imaginable and now we have both set our sights on our lifelong dreams. Kris is on his way to being one of the greatest boxers to come out of Australia.  

Since a young age Kris was never scared to attempt anything and if anyone was to get in the way of his mates or family, God help them. He is fearless. 

Kris has now owned the fishing tackle store Fish n Bits (where I used to work back in Australia before moving to the U.S.) for 4 years and runs a successful business at 24 years of age. Early mornings and nights he is training hard for an upcoming fight. 

On Sunday afternoon he hooked the boat up and took his young apprentice out to our local Lake Cooby Dam. They were trying to catch a few of the local native species and teach the young kid a few things. This lake is where I cut my teeth with Kris since I was 10 years old, riding our bikes out with fishing rods in our back packs. 

In Australia right now it is the middle of winter and my home town is experiencing one of the coldest winters in a long time.

Arriving at the lake Kris was happy to see there was only one other trailer in the car park, he unloaded the boat parked the car and was on his way back down the boat ramp. This is where he was greeted by a lady asking if Kris could help her out. The lady was fishing with her 73 year old father and 5 year old son when their boat had drifted off the bank, leaving them stranded on the shore.  

Before Kris could finish telling her it won’t be a problem, the lady’s father called and said he was going to attempt to swim out to the boat. She quickly replied don't be silly she has someone to take them out to the boat they will be there soon.

The lake is electric motor use only but Kris felt a slight sense of urgency and started his big engine. He loaded everyone up and made his way to where they were standing. It took about 5 minutes to cross the lake and as they arrived only the 5 year old boy is seen standing on the bank, the Granddad was no where to be seen. The lady quickly asked the boy, “where is Grandad?”

The boy being very young replied he is in the water. Kris could see there boat floating with no one in it. They quickly asked again with a sever sense of urgency, “where is Granddad”?. The boy again replied Grandad went in the water and he went under. Kris recalls looking on the bank and seeing foot prints going into the water and none coming out. He said his stomach sank like he has never felt before as he instantly knew what had happened.

Kris being Kris in arctic conditions, muddy freezing cold water stripped off to his underwear in a instant and dove into the ice cold water which instantly took his breath away. 

Kris is the strongest person i know, he is fit, healthy and in the peak of his life. His muscles cramped immediately and his breath was all but gone. He recalled sinking into mud up to his waist which acted like suction cup quick sand which held him under water. It took all his effort to break free of the mud and then make attempts to find a person that he had never met, never seen or laid eyes on in his life. Not ever sure if he was even in the water, just a pure act of fearless instinct and selflessness to help another human out that was in trouble.

Kris has two beautiful young boys at home Kai and Karter, a great girlfriend and a family that loves him unconditionally. Yet he selflessly put his life on the line for someone that he had never seen before. He dove down in search for the man with the woman in an hysterical state, praying he would find him. A few more minutes had past and the woman insisted Kris get back in the boat and she feared for Kris’s life also. 

Kris recalled as he was in the water he soon realized he was now looking for a body not someone who could be saved, it had been too long. He pulled himself back into the boat muscles aching short of breath and soaking wet in ice cold conditions. He made sure the young boy and the lady were safely in his boat and called the police. 

Kris tried to calm the lady and boy and stayed with them until the police arrived where he assisted rescue crews across the lake to the area where the man had gone missing. They later recovered the body of the 73 year old Grandfather. 

Life can be a scary thing, it can turn on you in a instant. I have heard of this situation happening way to many times and I hope that someone reading this might think twice about crossing a river or swimming to there boat. I can tell you from experience wait for someone or go the long way around, but don't risk it. 

Kris….mate you are a Hero. You inspire me everyday, the way you take on life with a attitude I wish more of us had, never letting fear get in the way of anything. I know that the woman will be forever grateful that you put your life on the line to try save her dad’s. My condolences go out to him and his family. 

This really hit home for me last night after getting off the phone to Kris. As I lay in bed thinking about it, all I wanted to do is see my mum, my dad, my sister, my grandparents, my uncles, aunties, my family and my mates. I will never take for granted any time I get to see these people again. I’ll enjoy every second I get to spend with them.  

It has been 7 months now since I have seen anyone from home. Appreciate your family and the people that are close to you. Life's too short not to, it can be taken away from you in an instant.

 Although I miss everyone like crazy, they are my driving force to follow my dream and make them proud. I hope I can come home at the end of this season as an Elite Series Pro and spend every second I can with the people I love.

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