A first year West Point cadet from St. Louis fought for his life after he tried to save another’s.
Family members said Tom Sudyke, 18, was vacating in Southampton, New York, last week when he attempted to save a person drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.
The individual could not swim.
Surdyke was taken to Southampton Hospital and was later transferred to Stony Brook Hospital. He was in critical condition, and unresponsive in a coma on life support.
Surdyke’s parents, Tim and Janice Surdyke, were by their son’s side, hoping he’d survive.
But the night of June 28, Surdyke couldn’t fight anymore, and was pronounced dead.
“Our son and hero, Cadet Tom Surdyke has passed. Continuing to serve others in death as in life, Tom chose to donate his organs, thus requiring him to be on a ventilator for the next 48 hours. However, his soul is with the Lord. Thank you for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for our family,” Surdyke’s mother wrote on her Facebook page.
Michael Horsey, a member of the West Point Parents Club of St. Louis, along with Surdyke’s parents, started a hashtag, #PrayForCadetTomSurdyke, in the hopes of bringing Surdyke’s story to light.
We lost a good man today. My heart is breaking.. Rest easy Tommy #PrayForCadetTomSurdyke
— Kaitlin Elbl (@KaitlinElbl) June 29, 2016
God bless the Surdyke family and God bless the soul that gave his life to protect another #PrayForCadetTomSurdyke
— Mary Argana (@MaryArgana) June 29, 2016
Thank You for everything you have taught me tommy. I wish I could be half the man you are. Gonna miss you man. #PrayForCadetTomSurdyke
— Tom Arriaga (@TomArriaga1) June 29, 2016
Horsey even created a GoFundMe page on June 30 for future leaders and for Surdyke’s family, raising $25,224 as of July 1. His goal was to raise $25,000.
“Funding the Cadet Tom Surdyke Memorial Fund will ensure our country grows leaders that uphold the same values that Tom upheld. Funds raised in this campaign will predominantely go toward the creation of the St. Pius X Leaders of Character Scholarship Fund,” the fundraising page reads.
“It will also use residual funds to seek innovative means to grow leaders that pay dividends back to our country. A small percentage of the funds may be offered to the Surdyke family to mitigate excess expenses caused from this hardship.”
Authorities have not release the identity of the person Surdyke was trying to save, but it was reported that the person survived.
Surdyke, who was a 2015 graduate of St. Pius X High School in Festus, will have a vigil at 7:30 p.m. on July 1 on the campus football field.
He would have turned 19 on the 4th of July.