News10NBC Exclusive: Family of children rescued from the canal speaks out | News
Two children and their dad were rescued from the Erie Canal Wednesday. The family is speaking exclusively to News10NBC about their ordeal.
It’s been a grueling couple of days for the Clanton family. Their daughter remains in guarded condition. Their son, who was also rescued, is in satisfactory condition. The two children are still in the hospital. They were pulled from the water after their stroller plunged eight feet into the canal.
The Clanton family, who are from Florida, was in Rochester visiting the doctors and staff at Strong Hospital who helped their son gain his sight after a cornea transplant. The family was taking a walk along the canal path when the stroller plunged into the water. Several people jumped in to help.
Jon Clanton said, “I would like to thank the man on the bicycle that stopped when I was going down stream in the canal and I was hollering out ‘Help, Jesus, help.’”
Jon and Yvonne Clanton are counting their blessings and are running over full of thanksgiving. On Wednesday, while walking along the canal, Jon Clanton lost control of the stroller his children were riding in. Sam and Selah are both eight years old. He jumped in after them and found himself in trouble.
Jon Clanton said, “And a man stopped and he peered over and I can't remember if it was when I was going down stream he saw me as I was making progress or I had yet to grab the tree limb that stopped me. But whatever progression I was, he spoke to me. I couldn't understand what he said, but he was the man who rode on his bicycle and came to the students to tell them there's a man in trouble down on the canal and I like to thank that man.”
And there are so many others.
Jon Clanton said, “The two women who jumped into the river, the medical doctors that are in training, Dr. Lambert who was at the shore and the girl that helped to pull them up, the Rochester Fire Department that came to pull Selah and I and the stroller up out as well as well as the girl that remained.”
The Clantons are no strangers to Rochester. They’ve been coming here since 2007. That’s when Sam received a corneal implant. News10NBC’s Robin De Wind talked with them back then. They were here this week for Sam’s check up and see if their other daughter, Sarah, would be a candidate for the same procedure.
Yvonne Clanton said, “It’s almost like a little homecoming to come to Rochester to see everyone. We've just had not one negative experience in all the times. I'm not sure how many times we've been here, but over the last five years, several times. I just can't say enough.”
Yvonne Clanton lights up when she talks about her five children. Three of them are adopted and have special needs. She is devastated by this ordeal, but resting on faith that Selah, whose prognosis is dim, will pull through.
Yvonne Clanton said, “I'm not going to get bitter. I've been there before. I'm not going to let myself go there again. I'm not bitter. I trust you through this. And not matter what the outcomes going to be we're going to trust God, were going to trust God as a family, were not going to let it tear our family apart. We were going to see God’s hand of mercy through out it.”