-- A heroic act to save a drowning girl last Saturday left a Special Forces soldier paralyzed.
Sgt. First Class Tim Brumit was responding to screams that a girl was drowning in the waters of Crab Island in Destin, Florida, amid a storm. As he later recalled, he felt his neck break immediately upon hitting the water. He was pulled out of the water by another soldier, according to ABC station WEAR-TV.
"They said 'Don't go in the water it's storming,' I dove,” he said. "My misjudgment was that the wave moved out of the way and turned into a foot of water probably, and soon as I went, I'm 6'4, so I went in the water, hit my head first, and I'm like, ‘Oh, I'm done.’"
A member of the 7th Special Forces group who had been deployed 11 times in 12 years, Brumit was taken to Baptist Hospital paralyzed from the neck down. He suffered a damaged spinal cord and two broken cervical vertebrae.
Still, Brumit expressed optimism and said: "I've been through tougher. This is not going to set me back." He said he would still go back into the water again.
The drowning girl was rescued by a person on a boat.