ROCKMART, Ga. (AP) - A northwest Georgia man who was paralyzed after diving into a creek to save a 4-year-old girl has died after nearly three weeks in a Rome hospital.
Polk County Coroner Trey Litesey confirmed Friday that 43-year-old Michael Patterson of Rockmart died from complications resulting from his injury.
Patterson was hailed as a hero after authorities said he saved a girl from drowning in Euharlee Creek on June 8. Authorities say Patterson managed to pull the girl unharmed from the water, but struck his head during the dive and became paralyzed.
Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells says Patterson had suffered pneumonia, a bacterial infection and a blood clot since arriving at the hospital.
A website raising money for Patterson's care said he received more than 60,000 prayers and messages of support.