Boy’s quick-thinking saves mother, dog from frozen lake

AURORA, IL (CNN/WCMH) — An Illinois boy’s quick thinking saved his mother and his dog after both fell through a frozen lake on Sunday.

Cathy Medernach told WGN that she and her 8-year-old son Caden were walking their dog along a lake Sunday afternoon. The dog, Baily, saw some ducks on the lake and took off after them. Baily fell through the thin ice on the lake, and Cathy rushed in to save the dog.

She grabbed a canoe, but when she swung the paddle, she hit the ice and the boat tipped over.

“Life was passing before my eyes,” Cathy said. “I was thinking, ‘I’m going to die in this water, as well as my dog.’”

As Cathy held on to the canoe and managed to climb back inside of it, Caden was on the phone with his father, asking him how long it would be until he got home.

“He was just like, ‘Well bud, be home in a bit,’ and [Caden] said, ‘Well, I think you should come home now ‘cause mom and Baily are in the lake and I don’t know how to get them out,’” Cathy said.

Caden’s dad told him to call 911 immediately, and that’s exactly what Caden did. Emergency workers were able to make sure Cathy was okay while they rescued Baily from the lake. Cathy said her son’s calm nerves during the chaotic situation made her proud. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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