A Texas family is wanting to give back to the man they say saved their 10-year-old daughter’s life.
Hayley Whiting, 10, was on vacation in Monterey, California, with her family when she suddenly got caught in a riptide. Her mother Samantha tried swimming out to save her daughter only to find herself in danger of drowning, too.
Nearby, Kevin Cozzi and his fiancée heard the screaming.
“I’ve been swimming since I was three years old competitively, so I felt like I could get to them. I ran out there and as soon as I got to the mom, I knew she was struggling,” Cozzi told ABC News.
Cozzi was able to reach Haylee and brought her safely back to shore.
Months went by, and Samantha only knew Cozzi’s first name. However, she never stopped looking for him.
Earlier this week, she posted about the rescue in a Facebook group called Merced Neighborhood Watch, and within hours they reconnected.
Samantha is now working to raise money to give Cozzi and his fiancé their dream wedding since they had to cancel theirs because of COVID-19.
“If it wasn’t for him risking his life in such a selfless act I would have lost not only my own life but my baby girl,” Samantha wrote on GoFundMe. “I want to raise money for kevin and his fiancé to have their dream wedding and honeymoon, any amount helps and is much appreciated. Lord knows he deserves so much more than this.”