VERNON, Fla. (WMBB) — After sacrificing his own life to save a drowning child last year, a Vernon man is being recognized as a national hero.
Stacey Redmon died at 48-years-old on June 21st, 2019 after saving the life of a boy drowning in dangerous Gulf waters in Panama City Beach. He was there with his family for a day at the beach when he saw the boy struggling to stay afloat, and ran into the water to help. His actions saved the child, while he lost his life.
“That’s just the type of person he was,” said Redmon’s widow, Alisha.
On Monday, the Carnegie Hero Fund announced that Redmon would be one of 17 to be awarded the Carnegie Medal this year, the highest honor for civilian heroism in the US.
Alisha said finding out about the award has been emotional.
“I just cried this morning, just tears of joy but sad at the same time because he can’t enjoy it,” she said. “But luckily that mother and that child are still alive and they get a second chance at life because of him.”
Redmon said it’s been a difficult year without her husband, but there’s been positives, as she works to bring change locally and statewide to keep people out of dangerous water.
“They are finally starting to fine people for it,” she said. “I hate to do that but some of us learned a little bit harder than others and it’s not fair for someone to lose their life because you didn’t want to listen.”
She said while her husband would have said he was just doing the right thing, he’s been their hero all along.
“I could see him go, ‘I just did what I was supposed to do, anyone would have done it,’” she said. “That would have been his response. But to me, he made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The Carnegie Medal’s hero fund will help support Redmon’s family and provide scholarships for his kids.