Boy saves 3-year-old brother in fall off nearly 100-foot cliff
SULPHUR, Okla. (KXII/Gray News) - A 7-year-old Oklahoma boy is being called a hero for saving his 3-year-old brother after he plummeted down a nearly 100-foot cliff and into a freezing cold creek.
Mother Amy Branom says she, her mom, her three kids and one of their dogs went hiking Feb. 25 at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Oklahoma. A park ranger and spokesperson says the family was on the Rock Creek Trail.
Branom told KXII that when the family’s dog jumped down onto a ledge on the side of a cliff, her 3-year-old son, Riley, followed.
“We’re not really sure if he slipped or fell or tripped. We don’t know exactly how it happened, but he fell off of that rock,” Branom said.
Riley fell nearly 100 feet down the cliff and into a creek. The family said without a second thought, 7-year-old Dakota headed down to help his little brother.
“There’s really not any words for it, honestly,” Branom said.
When Dakota made it down to Riley, he pulled his brother out of the cold creek water, his mother says. She adds that the water was 15 degrees that day.
“[Dakota] just didn’t have quite enough strength to get him [Riley] all the way out, but he got his head out from underneath the water,” Branom said.
It took rangers less than 10 minutes to reach the boys, who were both taken to the hospital.
Riley suffered several head and face injuries, two broken ribs and a fractured wrist. Dakota had cuts on his forehead and the back of his head, as well as an injury to his knee.
“His knee was pretty bad. They thought he was going to have to have a skin graft,” Branom said.
While Dakota is now back home, Riley remains at the hospital. He is facing a long road to recovery.
Still, Branom says the situation could have been much worse, and she is proud of the love and bond her sons share.
“[Dakota] doesn’t understand exactly what he did. He knows that he saved his brother, but he doesn’t understand that we could be in a funeral home right now instead of at the hospital,” she said.
The family said they have received an overwhelming amount of support following the incident.
“It’s truly heartwarming to see that there are people that care. They don’t know us, but they care,” Branom said.
A GoFundMe has been created to help the family with medical and travel costs.
Copyright 2023 KXII via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.