He doesn't believe that he's a hero though
Clayton and Brittany Cook had just gotten married at a public park in beautiful Kitchener, Ontario. Like most couples, they were taking photographs among the trees and water features just before the reception started.
While basking in their joy and snapping shots of themselves on their happy day, they noticed a group of young children following them around. They had no idea, at the time, that those kids would become a part of the big day.
Saving a Child
Afterwards, Clayton discussed how his wedding photos turned into a viral sensation on national television. “We just got married, and we were doing our wedding photos in the park using different backdrops. There were three kids following us for several minutes giggling and laughing at us. We didn’t think much of it, and they started walking towards the pond. My dad instincts kicked in, and I said, ‘I’ll just keep an eye on them and see what they’re doing,’” he said.
While Brittany took solo pictures, Clayton was really able to watch them. “He walked over to check on them and noticed the kids looking at the water and one kid was struggling to swim, so Clay jumped down on a rock ledge closer to the water and pulled him out,” she remembered.
“When I got there, they were kind of looking down in the water and pointing. That’s when I saw the boy — he was in the water, struggling, trying to keep his head up above the water and just flailing his arms quite a bit and just trying to keep air in himself. That’s when I was able to kind of jump down the rock ledge,” Clayton recalled. “He was in a lot of shock, and he was probably pretty tired. I think he was fighting for longer than I even thought.”
Brittany only realized what was going on when she saw Clayton in the water, holding one of the children. She yelled out to her new husband, causing the photographer turned around the snap a few quick shots of the rescue.
Darren Hatt of Hatt Photography posted his pictures of the event to Facebook. He captioned it: “A special shout out to last night’s groom Clayton! While I was taking solo pictures of the bride this little guy was pushed into the river behind me by another child. By the time the bride noticed and shouted out, Clayton had already jumped down and brought him to safety. His quick action saved the little guy who was struggling to swim. Well done sir!”
Darren Hatt tagged Ellen Degeneres in the post, hoping she would be interested in their story.
A Hero’s Reward
Ellen Degeneres was indeed interested in meeting Clayton and Brittany, so she brought them to her show to discuss the rescue. The daytime host asked Clayton if he felt like a hero, and he responded, “No, I see it as I was at the right place at the right time and it was the right thing to do. It’s something anyone would have done.” Brittany stated in a different interview, “We’d like to think most people would probably make the same choice.”
Regardless of Clayton and Brittany’s stance on the event, Ellen treated them like heroes. She gifted the couple, who had a Harry Potter-themed wedding, a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios with front line passes. Cheerios cereal also sent them to London to experience the making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. studio.
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