ROCKMART, Ga - A north Georgia man is getting prayers and support from around the world after he was critically injured rescuing a 4-year-old child.
11Alive first told you about 43-year-old Michael Patterson on Tuesday.
Since then, people from around the world have flooded the 11Alive Facebook page as well as a page set up by Patterson's family, many offering encouragement and money for the father who lacks medical insurance.
"Knowing he would face the same consequences he has now, he'd do it all again," said Jessica Brogan, Patterson's niece. "He's just happy a little girl is safe and with her mom."
It could have turned out tragically for 4-year-old Jevaeh Jones.
With her mom and other family nearby, the child waded into Euharlee Creek at a Rockmart Park. Jevaeh went in over her head. Patterson, who was in the park with his 9-year-old son, heard the screams.
"I'm grateful for what he did," said Carlisa Jones, Javaeh's mother. "I'm praying for him and his family. I appreciate everything."
Michael doesn't remember hitting the bottom of the creek. Carlisa Jones does remember watched as Patterson saved her daughter despite three broken bones in his neck.
The Friends of Mike Patterson Facebook page includes well wishes, and information for people who want to help with medical bills.
Donations can be made in the name of Michael Patterson at the River City Bank, 228 North 2nd Avenue, Rome, Georgia, 30165.
On Wednesday, Patterson smiled when a friend delivered a peach milkshake to the intensive care unit of Redmond Medical Center.
"We keep calling him a hero," said Brogan. "He's like, 'I'm not a hero. I hope anybody would have done that for my child.'"
Loved ones say they're encouraged every time Michael Patterson smiles.
It happens, they say, when he pictures a 4-year-old's smile.