NAPLES - A Naples man documented his terrifying journey to save his mother during Hurricane Ian.
When flood waters began rising, Johnny Lauder told CBS 4 he knew his mother may be in trouble. She refused to go to a shelter and wanted to ride out the storm at home.
Karen is confined to a wheelchair and has one leg.
Quickly water rose over cars in the driveway. Lauder said he decided he had to go.
He climbed out the window and said the water in his driveway was at least 4 feet. What's typically a 10-minute walk to his mom's, turned into a 1-hour journey swimming against a strong current.
Lauder decided to document his trek with photos and videos to send to family so they knew he was okay. He said, "It was a very large mass of water. I can't explain the force behind its surreal."
Lauder eventually made it to his mother Karen's house.
That's where he took a photo that he never realized would go viral. He tells CBS4, "There's so much other stuff happening right now and I feel like I'm not important but I guess they (the public) wants to see that there's a little humanity left so."
Eventually, Launder's son also came to help and they pushed Karen in a wheelchair home.
Lauder says he also helped an elderly woman get to safety at a hotel.
Karen was taken to a local hospital to be treated for an infection.
CBS 4 spoke to her and she said she is doing okay.
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