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Faith-Filled Tributes Pour in for Young Dad Who Gave His Life to Save Drowning Stranger

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A Kansas man has lost his life after diving into a river to save a stranger from drowning.


from our partner

written by

Will Maule

Jacob Farley, 26, dived into the Elk River in Noel, Missouri, after spotting a woman in difficulty. Through his heroic attempts to keep her afloat, however, Farley lost his life.

The woman, Madison Capps of Paola, Kansas, said that the pair spent 30 minutes in the river waiting to be rescued, with Farley doing everything in his strength to keep her head above the water.

“I felt his hand on my back as I tried to get on my floatie after going under,” she told the Miami County Republic. “Just having him be there next to me meant a lot. Without him there, I don’t think I would have been able to hold on as long as I did.”

“I will never forget the sacrifice you made,” Capps wrote in a tribute to Farley on Facebook Sunday. “May your soul Rest In Peace.”

Family praise ‘selfless and brave’ son and father

Tragically, Farley leaves behind a 3-year-old son, according to the fundraising page, which also details some of how exactly the tragedy unfolded.

“Jacob saw a woman, a complete stranger, drowning at the dam area and jumped in the water to save her,” Jacob’s mother, Shelley, wrote. “The current made it impossible for them to escape. They were trapped in a hydraulic current at the base of the dam. The woman had a small float and Jacob kept pushing the woman back on the float to keep her head above water.”

According to the details recounted on the GoFundMe page, Jacob quite literally sacrificed his life to save another, and that is something that should be universally applauded. He will be remembered as an utter hero.

“The fire department arrived and were able to throw a rope out and Jacob selflessly let the woman take the rope,” Shelley wrote. “She was pulled to shore with her float, but Jacob went under and did not resurface.”

Shelley has been posting candidly on Facebook since her son’s untimely passing. In one post, she cited a quote from well-known Christian author C.S. Lewis: “No one ever told me that grief felt like fear.” The profound line is taken from Lewis’ book “A Grief Observed,” which he penned in a bid to deal with an experience of profound grief following the death of his wife.

According to the fundraiser, any additional funds raised beyond what is required for the funeral will be placed into a trust fund for Farley’s young son, Kingston, and will be used for his future education.

“Our family is asking for any amount that you feel comfortable donating to help us with his final expenses,” Farley wrote. “Jacob was selfless and brave and he lived his life the same way he lost it. Helping others. Please continue to pray for our family.”

Jacob’s partner, LeeAnna Artussee, wrote on Facebook that the brave father was “the greatest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing & being with.”

In an update shared to the page Thursday, Shelley noted that the family was “extremely grateful for the outpouring of support” shown in the wake of Jacob’s death.

“It has helped us so much watching the well wishes, prayers and love that has been extended to our family,” she wrote. “Jake would be so happy to know that so many people are willing to help.”