Man dies after jumping into frozen pond to save his granddaughter

CHARLESTON, Ill. — A grandfather didn’t hesitate to jump into frozen water to save his granddaughter, losing his life in the process.

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Two sisters, ages 8 and 10, were walking their dogs in Charleston, Illinois, when the dogs got loose, prompting the older girl to run onto a frozen pond to get them, NBC News reported.

When the ice broke under the girl, Carlos Serafin, her grandfather, ran and jumped in after her, WCIA reported. Serafin’s husband, Bill Croy, told NBC news he tried to throw a dog leash to Serafin. “I threw it at him and he said, ‘I can’t see it anymore, I can’t see it, Bill!’ I could just see him going under and I just couldn’t get to them.”

In a news release posted to Facebook, fire officials said they arrived at the scene and pulled two people and three dogs from the water. They took the child to the hospital, where they were able to restart her heart, WCIA reported, but doctors were unable to save Serafin.

“Carlos definitely, he died a hero, you know — that’s just who he is. He would do anything for his girls, he would do anything for his dogs, he would do anything for anybody,” Amanda Beals, the children’s great-aunt, told WCIA.

Beals told WCIA that the little girl is still on life-support machines to help her heart and lungs.

An update on the fundraising page Beals created for the family said Thursday that CT scans show improvement to swelling on the child’s brain.