Four Amazing Dads Who Risked Their Lives for Their Children

When it comes to celebrating parenting, let’s be honest: moms (deservedly, of course) get most of the fanfare, while good ol’ dads (often unfairly so) are easily forgotten.

Yet there are many superhero dads who also go above and beyond the call of fatherly duty. The fathers below are great examples of paternal devotion.

Dad Makes a Splash in NYC
Witnesses heard a splash, followed by an ear-piercing scream. Suddenly David Anderson, a Californian visiting the city’s South Street Seaport with his family, raced down the dock, emptying his pockets and tossing off his shoes, and jumped over a fence, flying into the freezing East River after his daughter, Bridgette. The two-year-old had slipped through the railing and fallen nearly twenty feet into the freezing water below. The dad—without hesitation, according to witnesses—flew into the water and resurfaced with his small daughter safely in his arms. Bridgette and Pops were taken to a nearby hospital and released with no injuries after just a few hours. While family members have declined to comment on the situation, one thing remains clear: little Bridgette is one lucky girl.
Read the full story.

Detroit Dad Sacrifices Life for Son
David Adams, a mechanic repairing cars out of his home, died for his son. The thirty-five-year-old father found himself running outside at the sound of gunshots toward his thirteen-year-old, Joseph, who was sitting on the porch of their home as someone on the street began firing at a nearby car. Adams immediately ran outside and threw himself in front of his son to protect him, ultimately taking a fatal shot for Joseph. The police chief commented that the gunshots would easily have hit Joseph had Adams not shielded him.
Read the full story.

Australian Father Saves Baby from Runaway Vehicle
This story of a dad risking it all left me in awe. Thankfully, this one ended with all parties surviving—and it has a video to go along with it. Andrew Leitch’s fatherly act of heroism was actually captured on Australian closed-circuit television as he was shopping with his elderly parents and baby near Sydney. As the family browsed, an out-of-control car smashed head-on into the storefront at nearly forty-five miles per hour—straight toward the Leitches. Heroically, the dad positioned himself to take the full impact of the vehicle, scooping his son out of the way and saving him from harm. Leitch’s legs were crushed, but he was able to hold on to his son through the entire experience. “I was thinking, ‘I can take the hit,’” he explained. “‘I can repair, but there’s no way my son is going to repair.’”

Father Crosses Law—and World—to Save Kids
Most parents claim they’d do anything for their kids, but Christopher Savoie really pushes the definition of “anything” to the limit. The father of two underwent imprisonment, harsh interrogations, and an international abduction attempt for his children. Their mother, a Japanese native, illegally abducted the kids, Isaac and Rebecca, to Japan. (There are no laws in Japan requiring kids who are wrongfully abducted by a parent to be returned.) After divorcing his ex-wife, Savoie had worried that this might happen; one August morning, his worry came true as the kids’ school called to report that they were missing. By the time Savoie arrived at his ex-wife’s house, they were en route to Japan. While a court quickly granted him sole custody, he decided his only chance at reuniting his family was to bring them back on his own. After arriving in Japan, he found the children and sped toward the nearest U.S. consulate, only to be met and arrested by Japanese police. That was the last time he saw his kids; he was harshly interrogated and spent seventeen days in prison before being sent back to the United States and being barred from Japan. Yet Savoie continues to fight: He’s worked to get a resolution passed through Congress condemning Japan for refusing to sign the treaty governing international custody disputes. He’s also set up a Web site to help other parents in similar situations. Parents post videos on the site in hopes that they will reach missing children: “We can hopefully use the Internet to get our kids to know we’re out there,” Savoie told NBC. “ …[and] that we love them, that we miss them.” Read the full story.

While most dads don’t make the news, many of them certainly have made sacrifices.

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