Brave Hoghton boy, 5, hailed a 'superhero' after saving injured woman's drowning dog from river
A five-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he saved a dog from drowning in a flooded stream.
Jaxon Youd, from Hoghton, near Preston, had been on a nature walk with his mum, Carly, 31, and sister Josie, 7, when the little superhero was suddenly called into action.
The family had taken the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and explore the woods at Brindle Lodge, after being cooped up at home with the recent wet weather.
As Jaxon and Josie, who attend Brindle Gregson Lane Primary School, happily acted out scenes from their favourite Toy Story movies, Josie heard an anguished scream from the woods.
The scream was followed by a woman's voice, desperately crying out for help.
Mum Carly held her children close as the family ventured deeper into the woods to help the stranger in need.
After reaching a clearing at the top of the embankment, an eagle-eyed Josie spotted a woman lying on the ground near the brook below.
"Mummy, mummy, a woman needs our help!", said Josie.
Taking her mum by the hand, Josie led Carly to the embankment where she pointed to a figure crumpled on the ground near the river.
The woman had lost her footing and fallen down the steep and muddy embankment, fracturing her wrist.
"My dog, my dog Roxy!", pleaded the woman, pointing frantically towards the water.
Carly and her kids spotted the woman's 8-year-old Jack Russell, half-submerged beneath the rushing water and paddling wildly to stay afloat.
"Before I could even think of what to do, Jaxon was already scrambling down the slippery embankment to rescue the poor thing", said Carly.
"The dog was starting to go under, and it was looking shattered trying to keep its head above the water.
"The poor woman was hysterical, she was watching her dog drowning before her eyes.
"But Jaxon didn't think twice! He slid down the embankment on his bottom and jumped straight into the water.
"He waded in and reached for Roxy's harness and pulled her from the water with all his might.
"We couldn't believe how quick and instinctively he reacted in that situation!"
As Jaxon held onto a shivering Roxy, his sister Josie comforted the injured woman and mum Carly called the emergency services.
Roxy's grateful owner, Collette Martin, has hailed the five-year-old as a 'superhero'.
"Jaxon is a real-life superhero, he really is. I dread to think what would have happened to us both if they hadn't found me", said Collette.
"Me and Roxy go on that walk everyday, and nothing like this has ever happened before.
"But the rain made the embankment really slippery and I lost my footing and went down like a ton of bricks.
"I had been lying there for about 20 minutes, and I was beginning to panic.
"Then Roxy ended up in the river and she became stuck. She couldn't climb onto the embankment because it was so slippy.
"It was a nightmare, watching her helpless, as she paddled her little legs to keep her head above the water.
"I could tell she was getting tired - she's eight-years-old now - and she's not a great swimmer at the best of times.
"If Carly and the kids hadn't turned up when they did...it just doesn't bear thinking about.
"I think we would have been alone there all night and it would have been a very, very different story."
Collette said she and Roxy have made "friends for life" with Carly and her children.
"I'll always be grateful for what they did for me and Roxy...always", said an emotional Colette.
"They stayed with me for three hours and never left me alone for one minute.
"And that little boy. He is an absolute star. A real-life superhero."
After Roxy's rescue, Jaxon watched wide-eyed as more real-life heroes arrived at the river.
Volunteers with Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue joined paramedics in scrambling down the embankment to help the injured Collette.
After administering pain-killing gas and treating her fractured wrist, the mountain rescue team lifted a shaken Collette 20ft up the muddy embankment.
Collette was then taken to hospital by ambulance.
"An hour's walk down the river turned out to be quite a traumatic three and half hours", said Jaxon's mum Carly.
"But I'm so proud of my little hero, and Josie, who came running to me after hearing Colette crying out for help.
"We were the only people down there in the woods and it was getting ready to pour down again.
"God knows what would have happened if we hadn't come across her that evening."
After being discharged from hospital, Collette did not waste any time making her appreciation known.
The next day, Collette presented her young hero with a 'thank you' card and a cash reward for his bravery.
The card read: "To Jackson the Superhero, thank you so much for saving my dog Roxy.
"You were so brave! Get mummy to buy something nice for you.
"Thank you, thank you! - Collette and Roxy."
Carly said: "Colette has been so lovely with Jaxon, she even gave him a gift of £30 as a thank you for saving Roxy.
"Jaxon and Josie are obsessed with Toy Story, so you can imagine how quickly they were dragging me to the toy shop to spend their reward!"
Brave boy Jaxon happily splashed his cash on some new toys - talking figures of his own heroes - Woody and Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story.