William H. Samjohn saved Polly Ann Pickett from drowning, West Sand Lake, New York, New York, May 25, 1961. Polly Ann, 2, fell into a millpond and was submerged. Although he had been a complete invalid for more than a year and as a result of an operation had to breathe through a surgical opening in his windpipe, Samjohn, 60, ran 150 feet to the pond, clad in pajamas and slippers. He saw ripples at the surface near the edge of a deep channel opposite where he last had seen Polly Ann. Despite his doctor’s warning that water entering the opening in his throat would go directly to his lungs and cause him to strangle, Samjohn waded 15 feet to where the bubbles were rising to the surface. In water the surface of which was within four inches of the opening in his windpipe, he probed the muddy water while standing close to the channel but failed to locate Polly Ann. She then rose unconscious to the surface alongside Samjohn, who immediately lifted her onto his shoulder. He pressed hard on her back, expelling considerable water, and she began to cry. By then Polly Ann’s mother, who could not swim, had waded into the pond to within five feet of Samjohn. He handed Polly Ann to her mother and then attempted to wade back to the bank but found that he was mired ankle deep in mud. Fearing he might lose his balance and be submerged, Samjohn by arm motions informed the mother of his plight. She extended her arm to Samjohn, who grasped it and was pulled free. Returning to the bank, Samjohn aided the mother in forcing more water from Polly Ann, who revived completely.
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