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A man saved a pregnant woman and her partner at the beach. They never got his name

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Time now for "My Unsung Hero," our series from the team at Hidden Brain. "My Unsung Hero" tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Today's story comes from Lauryn Valladarez. After graduating from college, Lauren moved to Central America to work for an international aid organization. There, she fell in love with a man named Pedro (ph). Not long after, Valladares became pregnant. Then one day, she and Pedro decided to take a trip to the beach.

LAURYN VALLADAREZ: There were lots of people out and about and lots of surfers and swimmers. And we decided to go ahead and get in the water. And what I didn't know about Pedro back then is that he was not a strong swimmer. We got in pretty cautiously. And then before you knew it, we weren't touching the bottom. We turn around, and we're pretty far from where we started. I'm treading water just fine. And I noticed that Pedro was sort of struggling a little bit. And here I am, five months pregnant, about a hundred meters from the shoreline. And my fiance now can't swim. And he's starting to really struggle.

So my life starts flashing before my eyes, and I'm thinking we're all going to drown. We were far away from the shore, and I wouldn't be able to take him in. Out of nowhere comes a surfer on his board. We weren't close to anybody when, you know, at the place we had got in the water. But this surfer comes up and says, hey, do you guys need help? Because he saw a struggling. And we said, yes, yes, please. He had us grab onto his board and started paddling towards the shore. It took us a while to get in, but we came up on shore. We were exhausted and shocked that we were even still alive. And we said thank you to this guy. And then he walked away.

I think back to that moment often, and I regret not asking him his name. I always think, had I asked him his name, my firstborn son would have been named after him because he not only saved our lives, the two of us, but he saved our future family.

PFEIFFER: Lauren Valladares. She and Pedro now have three kids and live in Tucson, Ariz. You can find more stories like this on the "My Unsung Hero" podcast. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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