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November 13, 2019
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Czech Regional Governor gives award to Romani man who saved toddler's life

7.6.2019 7:02
From left to right:  Governor of the Ústecký Region Oldřich Bubeníček, Jana Chudobová of the nonprofit organization Romano Jasnica, and Miroslav Balog, who saved the life of Nela, who was two and a half years old when she fell into a brook in Trmice, Czech Republic. Balog was given the Governor's Medal on 31 May 2019. (PHOTO:   www.kr-ustecky.cz)
From left to right: Governor of the Ústecký Region Oldřich Bubeníček, Jana Chudobová of the nonprofit organization Romano Jasnica, and Miroslav Balog, who saved the life of Nela, who was two and a half years old when she fell into a brook in Trmice, Czech Republic. Balog was given the Governor's Medal on 31 May 2019. (PHOTO: www.kr-ustecky.cz)

The Governor of the Ústecký Region, Oldřich Bubeníček, has given the Governor's Medal of the Ústecký Region to 35-year-old Miroslav Balog for saving a life. Balog saved a little girl, just two and a half years old, who fell into a brook in the town of Trmice.

Another man named René Cibrik also helped Balog bring the girl to safety. On 18 February, several children were playing in front of the drop-in club run by the Romano Jasnica group in Trmice.

The regional daily, Ústecký deník, reported at the time that a strong wind had blown Nela's hat from her head into the roughly flowing Mlýnský potok ("Mill Brook"). Nela then fell into the water herself.

The toddler was carried away by the strong current. Balog happened to be passing by and did not hesitate to fling himself into the water when he saw her.

"The current was strong. I didn't think about it, I just blindly jumped into the water," he said afterward.

"It was difficult - it was cold and my clothing was soaked. Fortunately it all turned out for the best," the rescuer said.

Balog managed to get hold of the little girl several meters downstream. Cibrik helped him bring her to shore.

Nela was handed over to her parents. The Emergency Medical Services of the Ústecký Region then arrived at the scene.

The little girl was hospitalized for hypothermia and had suffered shock. Jana Chudobová, a social worker for Romano Jasnica, later nominated Balog for the Governor's Medal.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Balog, Hrdina, Ocenění, Trmice



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