"The bodies of water down here normally don't freeze with enough thickness to support a person on it and it can be very dangerous," Brent Perkins, of the Shelby County Fire Department said.
Blood is thicker than water, they say, and 10-year-old Benjamin Luckett in Tennessee proved just that when he put his life at risk just to save his little sister. According to PEOPLE, Benjamin and Abigail were playing near a pond behind their home with another one of their brothers. While playing, little Abigail slipped and fell into the freezing water, the family's pastor Stacey Stilgenbauer told Fox8.
One brother rushed to alert their father Robert, while young Benjamin, without any hesitation, dove right into the icy cold water to save his sister. The father was able to bring Abigail back to safety, but he was unable to get to his 10-year-old son on time. After both children fell into the icy water, Shelby County Firefighters responded to a water rescue in the 8000 block of Brunswick Road just east of Millington. The two of them were immediately rushed to the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, the sheriff's office told Fox 13.
Tennessee Boy, 10, Dies After Saving Sister, 6, from Frozen Pond https://t.co/8VqI4cGq7j— People (@people) February 18, 2021
Unfortunately, Benjamin was pronounced dead in the emergency room. "[Firefighters] said the best they could tell, [Benjamin] was trying to keep her above water," Stacey said. "It's a low probability event with, unfortunately, a high consequence, and our hearts go out to the family right now," Brent Perkins, of the Shelby County Fire Department, told WREG. "So the bottom line is the bodies of water down here normally don't freeze with enough thickness to support a person on it and it can be very dangerous," Perkins added.
Jamie Stilgenbauer has been sharing updates about Abigail's condition on Facebook along with photos of her recovery. Recent updates show that the little girl is now off the ventilator and is doing well. She also added that the children's mother, Christine, told Abigail about her brother Benjamin's death. "Christine was praising God he gave her the strength to tell Abby. She had been so burdened by knowing she had to do this. Abby is upset, but taking it okay. She wanted to place her hand in the mold of Benjamin's hand that the staff made. Christine is thankful for your prayers," the family friend wrote.
This is so heartbreaking. What an amazing and brave big brother! He is definitely a hero and has earned his wings. Fly high with the angels, sweet boy! Praying Abigail will be okay and home soon. Prayers and my sympathy goes out to the family as well. So very, very sad. 🙏🙏— Agnes Frizbee (@DonnaKalalilly2) February 18, 2021
With each passing day, Abigail is getting stronger, and it's a bittersweet time for the family to know that while their little daughter is gaining strength, but her brother Benjamin is no longer around to support her through it. However, the family is ever so grateful for the love and prayers they have been receiving. Jamie added, "[Christine] thanks everyone and asks that you please get the word out warning parents and other children on ice covered ponds."
Since the accident, the Shelby County Sheriff’s office put out a warning to be careful around frozen ponds, pools, and lakes because the ice is evidently not thick enough to support someone’s body weight.
A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for the Luckett family as they have medical expenses to pay off. The description reads: "The Luckett family lost their little boy Benjamin, he died saving the life of his sister who fell into a frozen pond. She is in icu right now fighting. Robert, their father was the manager of Bartlett lanes for many years and the children all bowl in the youth leagues now at Andy B’s. Any help from our community and large bowling family is appreciated to go towards medical and funeral expenses. Thank you!"
And probably didn’t even think about it. Realized she needed help and went to help her.— TJarvis2 (@toddcjarvis) February 18, 2021
Click here if you wish to donate.
Cover image source: GoFundMe/Help the Luckett family in their time of need!