Mom beams with pride after her autistic son jumped into river to save drowning dog

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The mother of an autistic son has spoken out with both pride and terror about the young man’s heroism after he jumped into a river to save a drowning dog. Joanne Witt had been with her sons, Kian and Dan, walking their own dog near the Ogmore River, when Kian saw the dog struggling in the water.

According to Wales Online, the other dog owner had been throwing sticks into the river for the dog to fetch. The dog had already been in and out of the river several times, but the last time he ran into the river, he must have been too exhausted to swim out and began going under; it was clear he was in danger of drowning.

“We were watching this woman throwing the stick in for her dog, but the river was so fast. he just tired out and he was swept away to the middle. Kian just turned to me and said ‘mam, hold my phone.’ He just ran into the river.”

Joanne Witt

Kian, 18, is autistic and when he was young, doctors weren’t even sure if he would talk or walk, but that was then, and this was now as Kian entered the fast flowing cold river up to his neck to help the dog. As the owner waded into the swiftly running river to help, Kian also helped to steady her. The dog owner gave him a hug.

Young Kian is indeed a hero. Before Covid, he had been learning how to drive. He is active in swimming competitions, and makes his mother proud all the time. She knew not to panic, and when her son raced towards the river, she knew not to show her son she was scared for his safety.

” I love dogs so much and I don’t want their walk to be spoiled so I just had to save it. I focused on the dog. I had no time to get nervous.”

Kian Rowlands

Kian attends school whose curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students with learning needs. This young man is a hero, and we are indeed happy to celebrate his love of dogs, his bravery and his huge heart. Good job mom!

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