A Missouri teenager is praised as a hero after he drowned while rescuing his 4-year-old sibling.
Alex Harris, 18, was swimming in the Missouri River on July 23, when his brother Asher got caught in a strong current.
Teen Drowns After Saving His 4-Year-Old Brother
“I heard Alex yelling for help and my wife and I took off running,” the boys’ father, Tyson Harris, told TODAY Parents.
“The water was moving so fast. I’d never seen anything like it before.”
“Alex held Asher up until his mom got there and then he went down,” Harris said.
“I watched his hands let go and he sank. I knew his exhaustion he was feeling,” Alex’s mother, Nikki, said in part. “I tried so hard to get to him faster.”
Alex’s body was pulled from the water the following day.
“My son is a hero,” Harris said. “If he had to do that over 100 times, he’d do the same thing every time. He was not leaving Asher.”
However, despite a 14-year age difference, Harris said Alex and Asher shared a special bond. A few days prior to Alex passing away, he was captured on the family’s security camera consoling Asher, who had fallen off his bike and skinned his knees.
“We have video of Alex carrying Asher in his arms,” Harris said.
Alex graduated high school in June and was working for the family’s outfitter business in northwest Missouri.
“We’d be up really early moving thousands of decoys around fields. I could always count on him,” Harris shared. “People just liked being around him. We have hundreds and hundreds of clients that come through here every year and they remember Alex.”
Harris said Asher understands how Alex saved his life, and has been telling people that his brother is in heaven with Jesus. However, he has not registered that Alex isn’t coming back.
Harris is also struggling to accept Alex’s death.
“We’d drive to work together every morning — a 15 minute drive and I really looked forward to it,” an emotional Harris said. “We’d listen to music and talk about stuff. Every morning I expect him to be here. I’ll sit around and wait a little bit like maybe he’s coming.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges the importance of wearing personal flotation device when on a river or any unpredictable body of water.
“If you get caught in a current, your energy depletes very rapidly even if you’re an experienced swimmer,” Sgt. Shane Hux told TODAY. “When our state troopers patrol the river, they always wear a life jacket.”
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.