Michael Patterson, the 43-year-old Georgia man who dived into a creek to save a 4-year-old girl from drowning and became paralyzed from the chest down during the rescue, died after spending three weeks in a hospital, The Associated Press reports.
Patterson's family shared the news on Facebook.
Patterson's bravery left many, including the woman whose daughter he rescued, stunned. "He jumped in head first and after I grabbed her, I looked back and he was floating on top of the water," Carlissa Jones told WSB-TV.com after Patterson's injury, which occurred on June 8.
Jones' daughter, Javea, was able to be resuscitated. Patterson broke his neck during the dive. He also developed respiratory acidosis, pneumonia and a bacterial infection after the injury, according to Fox News. The medical problems that came after the broken neck contributed to his death, Polk County Coroner Trey Litesey told news outlets.
Patterson's bravery was commended across the Web. Comments on the Yahoo News storyRead More »from Man who became paralyzed after saving drowning girl dies at 43