Grandfather Passes Away After Saving Three-Year-Old Granddaughter From Explosion

Parents and grandparents often claim that they would sacrifice their lives for the children that they love but, thankfully, they usually don’t have to prove it.

Sadly, a Vietnam War veteran who received a Purple Heart for his time in service recently had to actually step up and prove that he was willing to give all to save his granddaughter in a tragic situation.

According to CNN, 69-year-old Don Osteen was standing near the front door preparing the noon meal when he lit a candle next to the stove. This simple act had horrific consequences with an explosion occurring that sent the roof caving in on the house. Although Don was only standing approximately 15 to 30 feet away from the escape door, his focus was on finding his three-year-old granddaughter Paetyn.

When Don grabbed Paetyn, he worked to shield her tiny body from the flames that were quickly engulfing the house and then hurried to escape the building. During the rescue attempt, Don managed to collapse a lung, endure several broken ribs, and received burns over 70 percent of his body. Meanwhile, little Paetyn suffered from burns on 30 percent of her body.

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Despite his serious injuries and the fact that he suffered from war-related disabilities, Don knew that he had to find help. Still carrying Paetyn in his arms, he hiked up a quarter-mile driveway and up a steep creek bed to locate someone who would get them medical attention.

When Don finally found help, he already had flesh hanging off his body and was in serious condition. Although Don and Paetyn were airlifted to the Integris Burn Center in Oklahoma City, it was too late for Don. He battled for his life in the ICU for several days, but ultimately did not survive.

But Don’s sacrifice was not in vain! Although she suffered serious injuries, little Paetyn continues to improve and is getting stronger by the day. Don’s son, Brendon, knows that his father would be glad that he gave his life for the little girl that he loved so much. We are sure that Paetyn will always cherish the memory of her grandfather and appreciate all that he did to ensure her safety!

If you don’t have tears trickling down your cheeks after reading this story, then nothing will make you cry! Have you heard of any other parents or grandparents who gave up their life for a child that they loved? Let us know in the comments - and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!