Hurricane Ian was a devastating Category 4 hurricane when it struck Florida. It brought with it catastrophic flooding, gusts, and a storm surge that set a record high.
Because they did not accurately assess the severity of the hurricanes, a great number of people living in Naples, Florida, including Karen Lauder, refused to evacuate their houses. Karen is 84 years old and uses a wheelchair as her primary mode of transportation because she was born without one of her legs. Johnny Lauder, her son, made numerous attempts to persuade her to go, but she was adamant on staying.
Johnny’s entire family all resides in the same general area, which is only a few blocks away from one another. Because his wife was out of town during the storm, the delivery driver and former police officer made the decision to remain at the home of one of his sons together with two of his other sons and one of the sons’ girlfriends. As the storm raged outside and they saw the water rise to potentially deadly levels all around them, they maintained continual communication with Karen. When Karen told him that the water in her home was up to her belly button, he realized he had to take action since he had no choice.
Johnny began by seeing to the well-being of his sons and the animals they shared their home with. He made everyone climb into a small attic crawl space that he opened, provided them with provisions and water, and made sure they had a way to cut through the roof in the event that the water continued to rise. After that, he sprang out of a window and immediately started swimming.
Johnny could be heard saying, “I leapt out the window.” “Cars appeared to be floating by me. The current was going at an insanity level.
Johnny was a rescue diver with the city of Chicago, Illinois, Police Department during the time he served there. It is evident that he is a good swimmer, but the flood water was littered with garbage and other potentially harmful things. He had to swim against the strong river for the most of the distance to Karen’s house because the current was present.
Johnny made frequent stops to take photos as he navigated his way through the water so that he could reassure his worried family that he was all right. In addition to that, he picked up a life preserver, a kickboard, and a kayak that he found along the route that could come in handy.
Johnny was in a desperate struggle against the passing of time. He was aware that there was only a limited amount of time left for him to get there before the water would reach Karen’s head. It took him half an hour to swim the distance of four blocks. He couldn’t help but smile whenever he heard Karen yelling from inside.
He described the situation as follows: “The water was up to the windows, and I heard her crying inside.” “At the time, it was both a frightening experience and a source of relief; at the time, it was a frightening experience to think that she might have been wounded, and it was a source of relief to know that there was still air in her lungs.”
Johnny made the statement that “she wouldn’t be here” if it had been twenty minutes later. “She’s never been thrilled to see me.”
Karen was trembling so badly that Johnny went to find some clean sheets and wrapped her in them so that she might get some warmth. Approximately three hours later, the water level began to slowly go down. It turned out that one of Johnny’s kids had accompanied him to Karen’s house, and the two men were eventually successful in removing Karen’s wheelchair from the house so that they could remove her.
When they began to force Karen out of the house, the water had not yet reached her chest. In addition, Johnny helped an elderly woman who was nearby and had become stranded as a result of the storm.
The members of Johnny’s family are no longer in danger, but Karen, who contracted diseases from the water and was sent to the hospital, is currently receiving treatment. They have all lost everything they owned, including their homes, yet they are thankful that they are still alive and able to be here.
He said, “I may have lost my home and my belongings, but I didn’t lose my family, and I didn’t lose my job.” “I didn’t lose hope. So, we are still in this place. “Life is like a computer; there are two buttons: There’s a reset and there’s a power — and thank God that it was simply a reset button that got pushed and not the power button.”
What a perilous trip, but if there’s anyone who’s up to the challenge, it’s going to be this dogged young man! Johnny claims that he would carry out all of those responsibilities once more for his mother, which places him firmly in the race for “Son of the Year!”
Don’t forget to tell your friends about this story of persistence and bravery so that they can be inspired.