Heroic Story of Dad Who Saved His Daughter Who Fell Into Hot Spring at Yellowstone

by Jon D. B.

“Dad acted on instinct, adrenaline, and saved her life.” The family of Laiha Slayton, 20, is speaking out on the heroics of father Woodrow, 48, in Yellowstone National Park.

In an intimately detailed Instagram post, Laiha’s sister, Kamilla, is offering up the full story of her rescue. It’s heartbreaking, moving, terrifying, and inspiring all at once. Please make note that some of the images below show Laiha in intense medical care.

“People don’t live in this situation. It’s a miracle. Dad acted on instinct, adrenaline, and saved her life,” begins Kamilla of her family’s Yellowstone National Park nightmare.

48-year-old Woodrow wouldn’t hesitate to rescue his 20-year-old daughter from a boiling Yellowstone thermal spring after she jumped in herself to rescue her puppy this past Tuesday. 20-year-old Laiha Slayton would suffer third and second-degree burns over 90% of her body as a result. It’s an unbelievable circumstance, and a miracle indeed that both Laiha and Woodrow are alive.

Tragically, Laiha’s tiny puppy, Rusty, would not survive his severe burns.

“He heard the puppy screaming for its life with every bit of air it had in its lungs- then watched his daughter nearly kill herself to save her dog, then injured himself while rescuing her,” Kamilla continues of her father on Instagram.

If not for Woodrow, who was able to pull his daughter out of the 190°F water in less than 8 seconds, Laiha likely would have died.

“It goes unsaid- all parents would have done the same thing. Not every parent experiences that traumatic situation. He watched his daughter almost die. He couldn’t go in that helicopter with her… The gut wrenching feeling of having to watch your daughter fly off, uncertain of if she is going to live or not,” sister Kamilla continues.

‘I Love You So Much, Dad’: Father Saves Daughter from 190°F Yellowstone Hot Spring

Kamilla says her father experienced the “torture” of being separated from his daughter in her condition “for hours while driving with an injured foot.”

Then, he would seek out a vet for Rusty before even seeing to his own severe burn wounds. “He knows how close Laiha holds those damn dogs to her heart,” Kamilla adds, “and he wasn’t able to see her because of all the work they were doing to her.”

Laiha is currently still in a medically-induced coma to help her body heal, and to not allow her to feel the constant, severe pain of her full-body burns.

“And when Rusty passed away, knowing that Laiha made this sacrifice and is walking out empty handed really has broken his heart, and she doesn’t even know yet. He’s holding that to his heart every day and that’s hard,” she continues.

In the end, Kamilla says: “Thank you Dad, I don’t know the right words to say, but thank you and I love you so much. You did an amazing job. You’re doing great keeping it together, even on the roughest days.”

A true hero, indeed. For more details on the Yellowstone National Park Tragedy, our previous coverage can be found here.