Christine Bright traded her life for her granddaughter’s, her family says.
The Indiana grandmother was at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg on Wednesday, Aug. 10, with her two granddaughters and their new puppy, Lilly, WTHR reports.
They were checking the park out as a possible venue for an upcoming birthday party, according to the outlet.
At some point, Lilly fell into a creek at the park, and one of the girls jumped in the water to save their puppy, Bright’s daughter, Emilie Shea, wrote in a Facebook post.
But the girl began to struggle, unable to get out of the water on her own. Bright went in and saved her.
“She died heroically,” Shea wrote.
The girl managed to pull her grandmother out of the water, but she collapsed near the bank and couldn’t be resuscitated.
“She was my best friend and has always sacrificed for me and my girls,” Shea told TV station WRTV. “This was just her last act of sacrificial love. She loved deeply and truly. And I’m completely blessed to be her daughter.”
The puppy, Lilly, was swept away and later found dead, an area animal shelter confirmed.
It’s not clear what caused Bright to collapse, but police say the rescue likely triggered a medical issue, WRTV reported.
Shea is pregnant with a boy, she told WTHR, and while it’s saddening that her mother won’t get to meet him, he’ll grow up knowing she was courageous and loving.
“I know for a fact that if she had to do it again, she would,” Shea told the station. “Knowing the outcome, she would do it again.”