Army Veteran Juan Serrano was on his way home from church with his wife when instincts told him something wasn’t right on the Appomattox Bridge of I-95. He noticed a teenage boy who was pacing and seemed to need help. Serrano pulled over to ask if he needed a ride, and that’s when things changed in an instant. The kid JUMPED into the freezing water below. He immediately called for help once he resurfaced.
“I thought alright we got to get him out of the water because it could’ve been my kid,” Serrano told WTVR. “Next thing I knew I was just jumping into the water, trying to get him out.” He told his wife to call 9-1-1 and immediately jumped in. Despite it being pitch black, he reached the boy and they landed about a mile downstream at the gates of a water treatment facility, where Serrano used his belt and the boys backpack to get them out.
Serrano was called a hero for what he did, but Serrano says, “Hero is a big word, I was just a guy with my wife, passing by and God put us there for a reason.”
He’s telling his story to raise awareness of mental health needs for all ages.