Sarah Perry, mother of Carnegie Hero Aden Spencer Perry displays the Carnegie Medal while Broward County (Florida) Mayor Lamar P. Fisher, left, and the Broward County Commissioners applaud at a June 6 commissioners meeting. Perry accepted the award on behalf of her son, who was posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal after he drowned attempting to save a teen driver who was inside an SUV that left a Sunrise, Florida, roadway and entered a retention pond.
High schooler Aden Perry, 18, was walking his dog with his mother in April 2022 when they witnessed the car enter the water. The driver exited the car and called for help.
Aden entered the pond, but both the driver and Aden shortly submerged. Police divers later recovered them from the water but both teens had drowned.
At the ceremony, Fisher said he was honored that Perry chose the Broward County Commissioners to present the prestigious award.
“When I lost my son a year ago you were the first ones who reached out to me to honor my son with a Medal of Valor,” Perry said at the presentation. “Since that time, you’ve been very supportive through the counties, through the cities of my initiatives that I’ve tried to bring to neighboring counties and cities.”
Perry was referencing her mission to install rescue life rings at every body of water in the state of Florida.
That initiative was kicked off earlier this year by the installation of 70 Coast Guard-regulated life rings at city parks throughout Coral Springs, Florida.
“I feel it is my duty to carry on his memory, and something so simple as placing rescue rings near water is my way of keeping his legacy alive,” Perry said earlier.
She said that was one of the reasons that she was so honored to receive the Carnegie Medal.
“Receiving this medal means so much because I made a promise to my son that he would never be forgotten, and this medal means that he will forever be apart of Carnegie history as a hero,” she said.