MACON, Ga. — 9-year-old London Anthony is recovering after almost drowning herself trying to save her father.

"The first thought was, 'I have to save my dad because I don't want to see him die,'" said London. 

Her new bracelet of an anchor and the word "courage" is a reminder of her strength from a new friend, Deputy Christopher Collis.

Collis says when he arrived to the scene, London was in and out of consciousness. He performed CPR for 5 minutes.

"When she revived the second time, she grabbed my leg and wouldn't let go. Because she wouldn't stop, I wouldn't stop," said Collis.

Collis followed the girl to the Medical Center, Navicent Health after doing his duty to talk to family. He asked if he could come back the next day to check on her.

"He gave me a big teddy bear and some gummy bears with a bracelet," said London. 

London's mom posted a photo of the deputy visiting her daughter on social media. The photo circulated by the Bibb County Sheriff's Office received thousands of responses on social media praising Collis for going above the call of duty.

But Collis says London's bravery should teach us all a lesson.

"To be strong and persevere even through adversity. She had no idea what was in store for when she jumped into the water to help her dad," said Collis

London's father 42-year-old Roger Anthony was taken to Coliseum Hospital, but he died there. 

London's mother Shakette Anthony says she believes he played a part in keeping her daughter safe.

"She said, 'I tried to pull him, but he was too heavy, but all I could feel was him pushing me out of the water,'" said Shakette, recalling what London told her.

Collis said he wanted to tag along for our interview, and we captured a sweet reunion between the two.

Deputy Collis and London
WMAZ

He gave her one more thing -- his business card, in case she ever needs help or a reminder of her courage.

London says she has to do breathing exercises because she still has water in her lungs, but her doctors expect there will be no permanent damage.

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