Xu Weifang lives by a river and has saved five people from drowning. A father-son duo owes their lives to him.
Xu Weifang, an 80-year-old man who lives in the Chinese town of Zhutang in the Jiangsu Province, rescued a young child from drowning in a river early last month. Weifang and his wife were in their house when they heard cries for help. When they rushed to see who was in trouble, they found an eight-year-old struggling to stay afloat in the water. The old man jumped into action to save the child. The boy was actually one of five people the man had saved from the river ever since he began living in the neighborhood. Surprisingly, the father of the eight-year-old was one of them.
The boy was playing with his grandmother when he tripped and fell in the river. Though Weifang experienced a bad fall down a flight of stairs about two years ago and has never managed to fully recover from it, he decided to jump into action (though not literally). He joked in an interview with a local news channel, "Now that I’m old, I can’t jump anymore." With help from his wife, the 80-year-old got into the water and rescued his fifth person from the river. However, both the man and his wife were not content with just saving him. They also visited the eight-year-old in the hospital to see if he was doing better after the incident.
As it turned out, Weifang knew the boy's father. This is because about 30 years ago, he had saved his father from the river too when he fell in and began drowning himself. The octogenarian recalled, "When I was younger, [the boy’s father] was drowning in the river and I jumped to save him." He was, in fact, the first person the couple had saved from drowning. They have since saved four other people, one being the father's eight-year-old, of course. Weifang, then a young man, was more active at the time and did not hesitate to jump in.
Because of the amazing coincidence, the 80-year-old has gone viral. Many folks online have praised the old man and his wife for extending a helping hand for those in need, even when it puts their own lives at risk. When the world is having a monumental reckoning regarding the importance of helping each other out, maybe there is a lot we can learn from Weifang and his incredible selfless and thoughtful acts of kindness.