Meet The 13-Year-Old Who Saved 17 Of His Neighbors During Hurricane Harvey


September 14, 2017

Photo via: ABC13

13-year-old Virgil Smith is a neighborhood hero. During Hurricane Harvey, the brave teen used an air mattress to save not one, not two, not three, but 17 of his neighbors from flood waters. 

His heroic act of bravery started when the flood waters overtook his entire apartment complex in Dickinson, Texas. Once Virgil and his mother, Lisa Wallace, took shelter in a second floor apartment, Virgil got a call from his friend, who couldn’t swim, for help. Without hesitation, Virgil swam back to his apartment to get his family’s air mattress to use as a rescue device. 


“I put him, his two sisters, one baby and his brother, and I had my other friend by the hand right there, and I set his momma and his step-dad on the air mattress,” Virgil said. 

As Virgil, with the assistance of two others neighbors, got the first group to safety, he went back to rescue more of his neighbors, including an elderly woman in a wheelchair. 

His mother Lisa Wallace said her “faith gave her strength to watch her son swim into dark flood waters,” according to ABC13.


“All I’m thinking about is I know he’s able to save. He can rescue, he can swim, and I just had faith in the Lord that everything was gonna be alright,” Wallace said.

Virgil, your incredible courage, bravery and compassion to help others is an inspiration to us all. 

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