December 15, 2020 by Cathy Stack
“I was thinking, this is not happening right now. There's no way I'm getting pulled out. I was really terrified,” young Haley recalled.
Her mother, Samantha was sitting on the shore when she heard her daughter’s cry for help. The mother instinctively knew she had to quickly reach her daughter. She swam out to try to rescue Haylee but was also caught in the strong current. The waves were now enveloping them both. Time was of the essence as the unrelenting pull of the current grew stronger.
“I will never forget her face when she said, Mom, help me!” recalled her mother.
Kevin Qazi, who was also at the beach vacationing with his fiancé, suddenly heard screaming. He then witnessed two people in the ocean struggling desperately to keep afloat, fighting the urge to succumb to exhaustion. He sprang into action and swam towards them.
“I did swimming since I was three years old competitively, so I felt like I could get to them. So, I just ran out there and as soon as I got to the mom, I just told her to give me the daughter because I could see she was struggling,” Kevin recanted.
Kevin was able to reach young Haley and bring her safely to shore.
“He saved us,” said the grateful mother. “If it wasn't for him coming to grab her from me, there is no way we both would have made it,” she added.
When they returned home, the mother and daughter could not stop thinking of the selfless young mystery man who came to their rescue. They searched for his identity online with the motivation to somehow express their appreciation. The mother posted about the rescue on a Neighborhood Facebook group in hopes of locating their hero. Her strategy worked—remarkably, she reconnected with Kevin shortly after the posting.
The grateful mother and daughter have offered to contribute to Kevin’s upcoming wedding, hoping to somehow pay it forward. Kevin feels their safety was more than enough reward. “That girl being saved was enough for me,” he said.
Samantha and Hayley plan to attend Kevin’s wedding next fall. Hayley described him as the biggest hero she ever met. PassItOn is also highly impressed with Kevin. His action is a great example of the value of courage as he risked his own safety to save two strangers in peril. Please help us honor Kevin Qazi by sharing this inspiring story of a stranger coming to the rescue of a young child and her mother.
Please tell us about your everyday Hero. The Heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at http://www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create