Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” tried his hand at one of America’s least desirable — and certainly most smelly! — occupations back in 2003: pumping out a septic tank.
Removing upwards of 1,000 gallons of (ahem) fermented organic material with a suction pump certainly sounds less than appetizing, but can you imagine diving headfirst into that murky muck?
Dublin, Ohio, resident Madison Williams can. She did just that to save the life of a neighbor’s child.
One day, Madison was holed up in her bedroom studying quietly when her mother, Lee Williams, burst in with an urgent question: “A little boy fell into a septic tank, and no one can reach him. Can you help?”
Madison saw the trouble as soon as she ran outside. The septic tank’s ingress was only about as wide as the diameter of a basketball.
The toddler’s mother, who’d been hosting a party at her home, had gathered the guests around the hole, and some were dropping extension cords down the hole, hoping that the child would grab them. It wasn’t working.
“The mom was there over the top of the septic tank just screaming that her son had fallen into the septic tank,” another neighbor told WSYX.
“I looked at the hole and thought, ‘There is no way we are going to get anybody down in there.’”
Indeed, no one could fit — no one except for wiry Madison. The teenage neighbor was the only person small enough to reach him.
She went in without hesitation. “I had my arms on top of each other, my shoulders squeezed in, and kind of just shoved myself in,” she said.
“It smelled pretty nasty. Sometimes I can still smell it in my head, and it makes me tear up a little.”
— Lu Ann Stoia (@stoiawsyx6) September 2, 2016
Bad odors weren’t the only thing she had to endure. As she reached for the boy, her left arm struck a submerged pole, injuring it so badly she couldn’t use it.
Eventually, Madison saw the child’s foot and pulled him to safety. He wasn’t breathing, but after an adult struck him on the back several times, he coughed and began to wail.
“She absolutely saved that little boy, and I don’t think she realizes that,” Lee said.
“There was really no logical way that she got into that hole except for the grace of God. I totally believe there was a bunch of angels around us that day.”
Madison was brave, and I can’t imagine how nice it was to shower after that crazy rescue.
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