A father and his son will always have an unbreakable bond. After all, who knows you better than your own parents do? There are a lot of parents out there who are willing to do everything they could for the sake of their kids. It is not only about the grand gestures, however, because they also make little sacrifices on a daily basis. In the end, all parents are united by their desire for the children to have the best possible future. The dad in this story has shown us that the connection between him and his son goes even deeper than most…
Putting Children First
Every single parent in the world is terrified of the thought that their kid will ever be in danger. We are sure that most of the dads and moms out there are willing to sacrifice themselves if that is what it will take to ensure the safety of their children. An Australian man called Tony Lethbridge proved this when his son went missing. He went above and beyond to make sure that Samuel was okay. This is a whole new take on “putting your child first.”
Just An Average Day
On the day that Samuel went missing, it had been just like any other day. Tony Lethbridge lived with his family in Lake Macquarie, a small town in New South Wales, Australia. They often went to Sydney for their job and studies. When his teenage son Samuel left to go to a party one night, none of them expected what was going to happen.
Something Was Off
Tony was surprised that he had not heard from Samuel at the end of the night. Right away, he could tell that there was something wrong. We all know that teenagers often forget to let their parents know that they have gotten home after partying. However, it was not like Samuel to do such a thing. At first, Tony tried to be understanding. It was possible, after all, that his son simply fell asleep at a friend’s house and ran out of battery. However, his paternal instinct was telling him that there was something odd.
The Typical Parent Reaction
There is nothing unusual about parents freaking out when this happens. Sometimes, you will wake up to a lot of missed calls from your parent when you forget to let them know of your whereabouts. We bet that this has happened to you as well! Despite everything, Tony hoped that nothing bad has occured. He kept an eye on the door, waiting for Samuel to return. However, 20 hours had already gone by without any contact from the teenager at all. This was when he really started to worry.
His Mind Went To The Worst Place
Tony was unable to get any sleep that night. He did his best to convince himself that his son simply hungover and still asleep. However, he knew that this was not the case when Sunday arrived with still no message from Samuel. The worried dad decided that he was going to wait another night before he would freak out. But come Monday morning, his son still had not gotten in touch with him.
There were so many things going through Tony’s mind as this was going on. He called friends and family, who suggested that Samuel might have run away. But this did not sound like something his son would do. The teenager had no reason to do such a thing either. Tony knew that there was only one reason Samuel had not updated him. It must be because he could not do so for some reason. Tony knew that Samuel needed help. But what could he do about it?
Tony could not help but think about various news stories that he had previously heard of. There are many cases in which people got stranded after getting into an accident on the road. In particular, Tony remembered a story about a victim who died like this after five days in that situation. He was not going to let anything like that happen to Samuel. While he was already panicking, he knew that it was still too early to ask the police for help. As soon as he could, however, he reported the disappearance.
The Waiting Game
The cops started the search and told both Tony and his wife that they should return home and continue to wait. Tony knew that it was going to take a while before they get an update. However, how was he supposed to just sit around knowing that Samuel might be in danger? Even though he tried to stay calm, he could not help but think that his son got into an accident. He had to do something!
Calling For Help
Tony had a plan in mind. He was going to take matters into his own hands. However, he could not do it by himself, so he asked his brother to help him. We are glad to hear that Michael was down to do anything if it meant finding Samuel. However, their plan was not going to come cheap. They had to go to the airport, but they first dropped by the ATM to withdraw some money.
A Special Favor
Tony and Michael got some cash and went straight to the Lake Macquarie Airport. This was where they met up with a man called lee Mitchell. He used to be a helicopter pilot and rented out his chopper. Tony explained to him what they had in mind. When he put $1,000 on the table, Lee declined his offer…
One Great Uncle
Even though Lee declined the money, he was willing to help out. But there was one more challenge in the way. Tony was scared of heights and got air sickness, so he could not get on the plane. Luckily, Michael stepped up to the plate to go on the chopper ride instead. What a great uncle and brother!
We are sure that Tony had been under a lot of stress at the time. After all, it must be hard to have no control over such a dire situation. He tried to stay positive that they would find his son, but it was still hard to remain hopeful. At any rate, there was nothing to do but to pray and wait.
Time was already running out, but he could not handle it any longer. What made things even more difficult for him was that he could not get updates while they were in the air. On top of that, he felt horrible that he could not even go on the chopper himself. It was not easy for him at all.
After Fifteen Minutes
It was a good thing that Lee and Michael had been determined to look for Samuel. They searched the area in the hopes that they would at least find a hint about his location. They could not find anything that would help until fifteen minutes in the air. The men found something interesting after that!
Lee and Michael saw the car that Samuel had been using. It was near PCH and Crangan Bay. The next question was this: were they going to find Michael alive? At the time, they did not know what state he was in. They hoped for the best but still felt worried that the worst-case scenario might have happened.
Tony had been waiting for an update the entire time. At last, they finally called him to share that they had located the car. This dad went to the location as quickly as his own car could take him. Michael and Lee explained that they did not know yet if someone was inside Samuel’s car. They went closer to check. Nearly 50 meters from there, Michael got out as Lee remained inside the chopper.
Michael approached the car without any idea of what he was going to find instead. He yelled Samuel’s name but did not get a response. We are sure that anyone would have been terrified in his place. All of a sudden, Samuel moved his head slightly. Michael was glad to see this since it meant that the teenager was alive! He then informed Tony that Samuel was alive and came closer to see how he was doing.
It was a good thing that Samuel was breathing, but this did not mean that everything was fine. The young man was clearly in bad shape. The truth was that he actually got into an accident that took his vehicle 20 yards off the road. He had been suffering from serious injuries, a severe thigh bone fracture, and severe dehydration! They had to give him medical attention as soon as possible.
Wasn’t Going To Be Easy
Even though he clearly needed help, they were all glad to see him move his head subtly. They asked for emergency services, but it was not easy to take Samuel into the ambulance. In order to do that, they first had to cut his car to bring him out. It might have been tough, but they ultimately succeeded.
To The Hospital
Once the emergency team successfully brought him out of the car, they took him to John Hunter Hospital. The medical team stabilized him and put him in the intensive care unit. With everything that he went through, recovery was going to be challenging. In the end, however, he was able to make a full recovery.
Once Samuel was finally safe, there was something else that Tony had to do. He and his wife wanted to give Lee Mitchell $1,000 for all of his efforts. After all, they would not have been reunited with their son had it not been for him. He refused the payment at first, but Tony insisted that he take the money.
Despite everything, Lee refused their offer. He told them that he was more than happy that their plan had worked. He also said that the family probably needed the money more than he did at that point in time. After all, they probably had a lot of bills that they needed to cover for the recovery of their son. Isn’t it amazing that everything worked out in the end? This is all thanks to the paternal instinct that Tony had!