Most parents would do just about anything to save the life of their child. Many of us are never put in the position to have to do so and we are thankful for it. However, if you were put in the position where your child’s life was in danger, would you risk yours to save them? Chances are that you would, like the following two parents did. When faced with the possibility of their child dying, they risked their lives to rescue their child.
When you read the opening paragraph of this article, you may have imagined a middle-aged parent protecting a small child. This is not the case for Tom Wanyandie. Tom did not take his responsibility as a parent lightly. When his son became a man, Tom’s protective instincts did not leave him.
One day in 2009, 78-year-old Tom Wanyandie and his 39-year-old son, James were in the woods of Alberta, Canada searching for shed moose antlers. Both men are seasoned woodsmen who were very familiar with the dangers of the Canada wilderness. Therefore, when the men saw a grizzly bear cub, they knew its mother could not be far away. They were right. Within moments, they were being charged by an angry, full-grown grizzly female. James had a gun and fired on the bear. However, he missed and was not given the opportunity to fire again. The bear clamped its teeth on James’ arm and swung him around. His arm was broken.
Tom did not just stand there and watch his son be attacked by the bear. This insanely brave man held up his walking stick and shouted profanities at the bear. He then rammed the stick into the grizzly’s mouth, effectively turning its attention on himself, but only for a moment. It turned back to James and chomped his leg. That is when the elderly Tom went ballistic. He began mercilessly beating the bear with his stick. In a stroke of luck, this crazy tactic actually drove the bear off. Both men limped back to their truck and were eventually treated for the injuries they sustained. Tom was treated and released that day. James suffered extensive injuries, but survived. This story goes to show that whether you are a bear or an old man, nobody messes with your kid.
Twenty-eight-year-old Erika Zeeman and her 48-year-old husband, Inspector Piet Zeeman pulled up to a gas station in South Africa at 8:10 p.m. one Sunday in 2008. In the back seat was the couple’s young daughter. When they pulled up, a man informed Piet that the station was out of gas. Piet mentioned that he just wanted a pack of cigarettes. It was then that he realized the station was being robbed. Moments later, five men exited the store, got into a car and sped off.
In a somewhat surprising move, the inspector chased the criminals with his wife and child in the car. At one point, the vehicle stopped and Inspector Zeeman exchanged fire with the thieves, who had AK-47s and pistols. One of the men pointed his pistol into the car at Erika’s little girl. Mrs. Zeeman reacted quickly, throwing her body over her daughter. Se took five bullets in the back that had been meant for her child. The couple’s daughter was unharmed and Erika somehow survived, no thanks to the thoughtless actions of her husband.
The bravery of all parents in this article should be applauded, both human and bear. It takes a rare kind of bravery to put yourself at immediate risk of death.
Stuijt, Adriana, S. African mom takes 5 bullets, saves her child, retrieved 4/10/10, digitaljournal.com/article/262909
Mills, Christopher, Account of Grizzly Bear Attack, retrieved 4/10/10, lethalapp.com/news/209/06/account-of=grizzly-bear-attack