How a Special Forces Soldier sacrificed his ability to walk to save two girls

SFC Tim Brumit is a member of the 7th Special Forces Group. Photo Credit: Facebook

A Special Forces solider has been left paralyzed from the neck down after diving into the waters off Florida’s Panhandle to save a girl from drowning.

A little over a week ago, 32-year-old Sergeant First Class Tim Brumit jumped into the waves at Crab Island, near Destin, during a storm.  He heard screams that a 13-year-old girl was in trouble, and despite others yelling out not to go in the water in stormy conditions, the Army Ranger acted instinctively and dove right in.

During an interview with WEAR-TV, Brumit said, “My misjudgment was that the wave moved out of the way and turned into a foot of water probably, and soon as I went, I’m 6’4, so I went in the water, hit my head first, and I’m like, oh I’m done.”

When Brumit dove from his boat, slamming into the deceptively shallow water, it caused him to snap two vertebrae in his neck. He said he couldn’t move his hands or his legs, but felt no pain at all. His spinal cord was severely damaged.

SFC Tim Brumit has been left paralyzed from the neck down.
SFC Tim Brumit has been left paralyzed from the neck down.

Despite the grim medical outlook in his case, nobody is telling this man “no.” Brumit, a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, who has served 11 deployments in 12 years said, “I’ve been through tougher. This is not gonna set me back.”

The girl he was trying to save on Saturday July 25, was rescued by someone on another boat. Brumit was helped by another soldier before being rushed to the hospital, according to the Daily Mail.  Doctors at Baptist Hospital who are treating Brumit said with injuries like this, he’s not expected to walk.

“But the soldier has refused to be beaten, vowing to do everything in his power to walk again – and says he wants to go for a recovery in record time,” the article said.

Family, friends, even strangers have stopped by the hospital to wish him well, including Brumit’s father Randy, who’s also a Special Forces soldier.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Brumit’s medical bills in the months ahead, and has already raised more than $29,000.


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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