- Hanna Pignato, 19, of Daytona Beach, Florida, witnessed a young boy struggling in a rip current from her job at a restaurant on the pier prompting her to action
- The waitress ran to the pier's edge and leaped 20 feet in the surf below, but she misjudged the depth and struck a sandbar fracturing her back and foot
- She continued to make her way to the eight-year-old boy, but both he and Pignato ended up being rescued from the water after the ordeal
- A GoFundMe page is hoping to raise $75,000 for her treatment, as she has no health insurance
A waitress at a Florida suffered a broken back and foot after jumping 20ft off a pier to save a young boy who was stuck in the rip current.
Hanna Pignato, 19, fractured her back in three places and the heel of her foot after jumping off the Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday night after she saw a mother frantically trying to get help for her son.
'She was screaming bloody Mary, like, just screaming, like, I could just hear the fear in her eyes,' Pignato told WESH 2 News about the moment. 'And I was scared. Everybody was scared.'
The eight-year-old boy had gotten separated from a boogie board and was being drawn further and further away by the rip current.
Hanna Pignato, 19, thought only of a young boy's safety when she rushed to jump into the waters off of Daytona Beach, Florida, when she herself was badly injured striking a shallow sandbar after her leap
Pignato suffered fractures in three places on her back as well as a fracture on the heel of her foot
Pignato, who worked on the roof deck of Joe's Crab Shack, the eatery that sits on the pier itself, ran down the back steps to the pier, dropped off her phone and jumped 20 feet into the water.
'Right when I jumped, I was, like, I'm done, like, right when I hit the bottom floor, it was like maybe two feet, three feet,' she said recounting the moment she struck the shallow sandbar.
An experienced surfer and swimmer, Pignato says may have misjudged the depth of the water due to the rough surf.
Pignato became tearful when recounting the screams of the mother whose son was being dragged away by the current
The 19-year-old was working as a waitress on the roof deck at Joe's Crab Shack on the Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida, when she saw the boy in trouble
She leaped 20 feet off of the pier into shallow water, misjudging the depth possibly due to the roughness of the surf
The young woman's GoFundMe seeks to raise $75,000 for the waitress without health insurance as she will be unable to work for months with her injuries
Despite her painful injuries, Pignato continued to swim toward the child until another swimmer was able to reach him. She herself had to be helped out of the surf.
While her own rescue attempt failed, the eight-year-old boy was eventually saved, and Pignato had been thinking about the child's family when she made her snap decision.
'I know what it's like not to have my family,' she said getting choked up. 'I did not want her to go through that. I'm just happy and grateful.'
The GoFundMe page trying to raise $75,000 for Pignato states that the 19-year-old service worker does not have any insurance.
With her injuries and living in a third story apartment without an elevator, it appears she will have to miss work for months.