The world is always a better place when people like 19-year-old Hanna Pignato who proved that not all heroes wear caps.
Hannah was working her evening shift at Joe’s Crab Shack in Daytona Beach, Florida.
As night fell, Hanna recalled she heard a woman screaming for help from the beach below, and the sound of people clamoring around in chaos.
The screaming woman was a frantic mother whose young son was caught in a strong rip tide. Hanna looked down from the restaurant’s pier and realized no one was actually trying to save the boy.
“I saw the mom screaming and crying. Just hearing her wail terrified me. Then I saw the little boy … his head just kept going down,” Hanna Pignato told Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Since Hanna is an experienced swimmer and surfer, she thought she’d be able to save him and she couldn’t stand aside watching like those people. Without a moment of hesitation, she threw off her shoes and leaped off the pier. Unfortunately, just as she dove in, something awful happened. According to WESH, Hanna hit a sandbar and got fractures in her right foot and her back. But despite being in terrible pain, she didn’t stop swimming toward the boy.
“I didn’t want the baby to die. He wasn’t a baby, he was 7 years old, 8 years old, but still I mean, that’s a human life — you just can’t look at that and walk away”, Hanna said.
The next thing she knew, a stranger was tending to her back on shore and trying to calm her down. Watch the video below to see how her heroic story unfolded.
Hanna doesn’t have health insurance and will be on bed rest for two months.
In the meantime, her loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to assist with her medical bills while she’s out of work.
People are praising Hanna for what she did, because not everyone is ready to risk their own life for the sake of saving another’s. Her family is very proud of her. And we have to say that her mother raised her right.
“She kept saying ‘I’m sorry, don’t be mad at me’ and I said ‘Hanna, you tried to save someone,’” Heather Pignato said.
Watch the inspiring story in the video below: