"I can't even say how thankful I am," the child's mom said.
A Florida man is being hailed as a hero after he died, while bravely attempting to save a drowning child, during a family outing on the water. 40-year-old Adem Qorri was on a boat with his friend, Dale Furness, and their children at Anclote River Park when Furness' 6-year-old boy, Carson, got caught in a riptide, per PEOPLE.
Qorri instinctively jumped in to try to save Carson from drowning. While Qorri was able to keep the 6-year-old from drowning, he himself ended up losing consciousness. Soon after, another boater rescued Qorri from the sea, but by the time he was taken to a nearby hospital, he was declared dead.
A GoFundMe for the family set up by Qorri's widow's cousin, praised Qorri's efforts, saying, "Adem Qorri passed away a hero." Qorri's wife, Blerta Qorri, agrees. Speaking to PEOPLE, the widow, although devastated by the loss, shared, "He just was the best dad ever," said Blerta.
Furness' family is also extremely grateful for his actions. "I can't even say how thankful I am," Carson's mom, Mallory Hutchinson, said of Qorri's efforts. "I can't even put into words my gratitude," adding, "There are no words that will ever replace him."
The Florida native, originally from Kosovo, was probably aware that he was possibly choosing between his own life and the life of someone else's kid, and he would never be sorry for what he did, Blerta shared. She added, "I would say he would do it again over and over and over, and he wouldn't think about it."
The grieving wife expresses pride for her husband, adding, "And I'm glad actually he did it and that he is a hero now."
The GoFundMe for the family aims to raise funds after this tragic loss. The campaign reads, "My heart hurts so bad for his boys and wife and I'm so sorry for their loss. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and if you can help them in any way."
Friends and family have been expressing their grief at this loss on social media. Qorri's niece, Arbenita A. Qorri, wrote on Facebook that she's still not able "to accept that you died." In a moving tribute to her uncle, she wrote, "My dearest uncle, you will always be in my heart for as long as I live. You were known by everyone as a person with a good heart and a person who put others before himself. You were the one who always made us laugh and feel happy."
"Rest in Peace, our Angel, our Hero," the grieving niece concluded her post.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Adem Qorri