When a Salem father named Ramiro Vallejo saw his 3-year-old son tumbling head over heels down a steep, 70-foot slope, the last thing he was thinking about was his intense fear of heights.
The two, along with the boy's mother, had been hiking in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon when the boy slipped off the trail. Without a moment's hesitation, Vallejo jumped over the railing in an effort to catch his son before he fell into the pool at the bottom of the 177-foot waterfall. Talk about fearless!
Thankfully, this is one nightmare that had a happy ending. Somehow Vallejo was able to maintain a controlled skid on his back down the slope and was able to catch up to and grab his son. They both came to a stop on a ledge about 70 feet below the trail where a family taking photos nearby helped them down. Both father and son suffered only minor scratches, bumps, and bruises -- that's pretty miraculous given the seriousness of their fall!
Of course, we all hope that in the same situation we'd do the exact same thing to save our child. But after looking at the photos of the very steep Oregon slope and considering how rocky and slippery it is, you can't help but wonder whether you'd actually have the courage to do it. Even Vallejo himself admitted just how scared he was:
I couldn't take that picture out of my head, of my son rolling down the slope. What would have happened if I just stood there? I don't know how I managed to put those fears aside.
This father is truly a hero -- and it's a relief to know that he was rewarded with a happy ending for his brave efforts.
Image via Martin Bravenboer/Flickr