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Author Topic: Heroic father drowns in sewage to save son  (Read 1548 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« on: September 13, 2008, 01:29:55 AM »

Father Who Died Saving Son Known For Sacrifice
By Jonathan Mummolo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 10, 2008; Page A01

If you ever ran into Nokesville dad Thomas S. Vander Woude, chances are you would also see his son Joseph. Whether Vander Woude was volunteering at church, coaching basketball or working on his farm, Joseph was often right there with him, pitching in with a smile, friends and neighbors said yesterday.

When Joseph, 20, who has Down syndrome, fell into a septic tank Monday in his back yard, Vander Woude jumped in after him. He saved him. And he died where he spent so much time living: at his son's side.

"That's how he lived," Vander Woude's daughter-in-law and neighbor, Maryan Vander Woude, said yesterday. "He lived sacrificing his life, everything, for his family."

Vander Woude, 66, had gone to Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville on Monday, just as he did every day, and then worked in the yard with Joseph, the youngest of his seven sons, affectionately known as Josie. Joseph apparently fell through a piece of metal that covered a 2-by-2-foot opening in the septic tank, according to Prince William County police and family members.

Vander Woude rushed to the tank; a workman at the house saw what was happening and told Vander Woude's wife, Mary Ellen, police said. They called 911 about 12 p.m. and tried to help the father and son in the meantime.

At some point, Vander Woude jumped in the tank, submerging himself in sewage so he could push his son up from below and keep his head above the muck, while Joseph's mom and the workman pulled from above.

When rescue workers arrived, they pulled the two out, police said. Vander Woude, who had been in the tank for 15 to 20 minutes, was unconscious. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Joseph remains in Prince William Hospital with double pneumonia, and doctors are monitoring him for infection, said Erin Vander Woude, Thomas Vander Woude's daughter-in-law. Joseph is in critical condition and on a ventilator, she said.
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"He doesn't know that his dad died," she said.

For those who knew him, Vander Woude's sacrifice was in keeping with a lifetime of giving.

"He's the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back," said neighbor Lee DeBrish. "And if he didn't have one, he'd buy one for you."

Read the rest here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/09/AR2008090903691.html

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Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may eternal light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Mr. Vander Woude, intercede on your son's behalf for his survival, so that your sacrifice was not in vain.

Lord, have mercy on your servants the Vander Woude family.

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 01:32:26 AM »

(Eeeeuwwww! Tongue)  May Thomas's memory be eternal.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2008, 02:51:23 AM »

Lord, have mercy. Memory eternal.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2008, 03:15:51 AM »

(Eeeeuwwww! Tongue)  May Thomas's memory be eternal.
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 05:02:45 AM »

БЛАЖЕНИ ПОКОЈ ДАЈ БОЖЕ..МЕЂУ ТБОЈЕ ПРАВЕДНЕ,,И ВЕЧНАМУ ПАМЈАТ....Амин.....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
БLESSED REST GRANT O LORD AMONG THY JUST ..AND MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL...AMEN.....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
                                                      SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 07:08:42 AM »

Lord have mercy, and make Thomas' memory to be eternal.
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2008, 07:38:23 AM »

Memory eternal!
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 08:08:43 AM »

Memory eternal. What a brave and wonderful man!
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2008, 08:16:44 AM »

Memory eternal. What a brave and wonderful man!

Indeed..

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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2008, 02:36:15 PM »

Eternal Memory!
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2008, 03:16:14 PM »

May Thomas Rest in Peace.
May the Lord grant a quick recovery to Joseph.
May the Lord give strength to Thomas' family as they endure these sorrowful times.
Amen!
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2008, 03:22:11 PM »

Memory eternal!

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2008, 04:22:01 PM »

(Eeeeuwwww! Tongue)  May Thomas's memory be eternal.
Reminds me of a woman I knew, who was married to a Muslim sheikh in Brazil.  When their son was dying of fever, he himself had the boy baptized.  She explained it with the best definition of parenthood I've ever heard "when your child is dying, and if some says, 'for them to lie, you have to eat this pile of .....' you ask 'where's the spoon.'"

Memory eternal! And may the Lord preserve their family.
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2008, 12:22:02 AM »

Memory eternal. What a brave and wonderful man!
Amen! Memory Eternal!  Lord have mercy on his family and community.
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