David Lee helped to save Rachel A. Stewart and Erika G. Medlock from drowning, Apopka, Florida, December 31, 2003. Rachel, 6, and her grandmother, Ms. Medlock, 60, struggled to stay afloat in Page Lake after escaping a car that had entered the lake in darkness. On his adjacent ranch, Lee, 50, farmer, saw the car’s taillights in the water and heard screaming. He drove to the scene, then, removing his shirt and boots, entered the lake and waded and swam about 100 feet to the car. Rachel and Ms. Medlock were less than 10 feet from the car as Lee looked inside for anyone remaining there. After he had Rachel hold onto his shoulder, Lee approached Ms. Medlock, but in an ensuing struggle they submerged repeatedly. With Ms. Medlock submerged, Lee floated momentarily to catch his breath, then he located Ms. Medlock and pulled her to the surface. She was inert. Supporting Ms. Medlock with one arm, Lee swam toward the bank, Rachel holding to his shoulder. When they were almost there, others entered the water and took Rachel and Ms. Medlock from the lake. Ms. Medlock was hospitalized for treatment of having nearly drowned, and Lee, cold and nearly exhausted, developed bronchitis. Both recovered.
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