The man who severed his spinal cord after he dove into Euharlee Creek in Rockmart to save a stranger's child from drowning has passed away.
Mike Patterson, 43, was at a creek with his 9-year-old son on June 8 when he saw a girl step into a section of deep water and go under.
Officials said Patterson dove into the water and pulled the girl out, but hit his head during the dive and was critically injured.
Patterson was left paralyzed by his effort.
Since the accident, Patterson has been in an intensive care unit in a Rome hospital. In addition to paralysis, he has battled respiratory acidosis, pneumonia, a bacterial infection and a blood clot.
Patterson succumbed to his injuries and related complications early Friday morning with his family by his side.
A news release was sent out Friday morning:
"Mike's spirit and selfless actions inspired tens of thousands who sent cards, letters and emails and engaged in posts at the Friends of Mike Patterson Facebook page. His life and the lives of others are forever changed by his courageous, split-second decision to save another's life. Mike's tragic story made news headlines around the globe. His heroic act stirred an outpouring of emotion and a desire to help Mike in his time of need. His caring nature will forever be honored."
The funeral services for Patterson will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 2 p.m. at the Gammage Funeral Home Chapel.
The Patterson family will receive family and friends on Saturday, June 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gammage Funeral Home.
If you'd like to help the family cover funeral expenses, you can mail a check to the Friends of Mike Patterson Trust, 210 East Second Ave., Suite 205, Rome, GA, 30161.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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