SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A kid who loves his family and all things boys — that’s how 9-year-old Paxton’s family described him. 

“He loves the outdoors, he loves riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers and going fishing and anything to get dirty, he’s just a boy,” said Kelley Carpenter, Paxton’s aunt.

Paxton is now fighting for his life after being trapped underwater in his family’s truck. His family is holding out hope. 

“Keep the prayers coming because we’re hoping they’re working,” said Carpenter. “He’s a miracle. The doctors did not expect any of this.”

His family went on a trip to Smith and Morehouse Reservoir on Monday, when their truck suddenly fell down the boat ramp and into the water with Paxton and his two siblings still inside. 

His 9-year-old brother escaped and his two-year-old sister was quickly grabbed by her grandfather, but Paxton remained stuck inside the truck. 

It was a call his family never expected. 

“Everybody dropped everything and ran up there,” said Carpenter. “At first, they didn’t think Paxton was going to make it.”

Thankfully, Joe Donnell, a former park ranger and emergency responder, was out kayaking on the same day. He witnessed the truck sink and dove down in the water seven times before finally feeling Paxton’s t-shirt and successfully pulling him out. 

Paxton’s family called Donnell a miracle. 

“We’re forever grateful that he didn’t give up on Paxton,” said Carpenter. “We can’t even put into words how much he means to us.”

Despite the odds, Paxton’s still fighting. He’s managed to nod his head, grab his aunt’s hand and mouth words, all while on life support. 

“I know he’s in there, he’s fighting, he’s tired, but he’s fighting and just knowing that he knew I was there meant the world to me,” Carpenter said. 

You can find a link to donate to Paxton’s medical funds here