Man Swims A Half Mile To Save Mom During Hurricane Ian

Photo: Getty Images-BRYAN R. SMITH AFP

A Florida man is being called a hero after he swam through a half-mile of floodwater to save his mother from Hurricane Ian.

Johnny Lauder says he received a call from his 86-year-old mother, Karen, who'd stubbornly refused to evacuate her Naples home as Ian was approaching last week. "She said the water was up to her wheelchair and hitting her belly button," Lauder says. Fearing for his mother's life, Lauder says he dove through a window and began a 45-minute swim to her home. He says he could hear his mom screaming as he approached. "I didn't know if something was falling on her or if she was trapped and hurt," Lauder says. "But the relief was knowing that there's still air in her lungs."

After Lauder cared for his mother for three hours, the water had subsided enough that he was able to push her wheelchair through the sludge-filled streets to safety. "My mom has changed her tone," Lauder says. "She will be evacuating next time. I hope people learn from others' mistakes and not their own."

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