Tony Lethbridge had a bad feeling he could not shake when his son Samuel failed to come home on January 14, 2018.
According to Huffington Post, the 17-year-old had set out to meet his girlfriend in a nearby town that Sunday but never made it there.
After 24 hours passed and no one had heard from Samuel, his family began to panic. Samuel’s parents, Tony and Lee, went to the police to report their missing son’s disappearance, but they were reportedly told to simply go home and wait.
“They told us that he might have run away, he could have done this or he could have done that, and we just said, ‘It’s out of character; it’s not him,’” Tony told the Sydney Morning Herald. The worried dad had a specific hunch that his son had crashed his car and was lying injured somewhere. He recalled an accident that had happened in the same area where Samuel had been traveling and how that driver passed away because he wasn’t found for five days.
“That was in my head, so I just thought, ‘Bugger this, I’m not going to sit around and wait,’” he explained. “With the way the bush is there, if a car goes in you’re not going to see it. The only way you’ll see it is from the air. And that’s what we did.”
“I said to my wife, ‘I’m not going to wait any longer. I’m going to hire a helicopter and go looking for him,’” Tony said.
Tony managed to pull together $800 to hire a helicopter from Skyline Aviation Group. Samuel’s uncle, Michael Lethbridge, went along for the helicopter ride, as Tony struggles with flying. Within 10 minutes, Tony and his family received word that Samuel’s car had been spotted.
Tony’s hunch was exactly right: the car had crashed. Samuel had been lying in the wreck for nearly 30 hours before being found, suffering dehydration and critical injuries. Emergency services cut Samuel from the car, and he was brought to the hospital. The teen is in intensive care, but he is stable and expected to recover in time.
Please say a prayer for Samuel.
Samuel’s sister, Megan, revealed on Facebook that Skyline Aviation Group had even refunded the helicopter cost to their family.
God has blessed many of us with great Dads like Tony. May sure you tell your dad you love them today.