June 17, 2004 by

Donny Houser-Richerme

37 comments

Categories: Heroes

dhouser.jpgDonald Houser-Richerme risked his life to save a playmate from drowning.

On June 7, Donny and his 4-year-old brother were exploring their Chicago Ridge apartment complex with Karah Moran, a 5-year-old neighbor. According to witnesses, the boys moved into the complex last month and Karah was showing them around.

The trio noticed the door to the pool area was unlocked and went inside. They were investigating the half-empty pool when Karah fell into the water.

Despite the fact that he couldn’t swim, Donny didn’t even hesitate a moment to take off his clothes. He just jumped into the murky, debris-filled rainwater to save her. But once he got Karah to the ladder, Donny started to drown. Karah immediately ran to a nearby adult, who called 9-1-1. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later, pulled the unconscious boy out of the water and transported him to the hospital.

After spending a week in critical condition, Donny died on June 14. He was six years old.

37 Responses to Donny Houser-Richerme

  1. connie

    to the family of this little precious angel ,because that is indeed what he is and was and will always be ,to hear a story like this in these days and time is truly inspirational.a child he THOUGHT nothing of himself he just wanted to help his trapped friend,this child is what you call a HERO in all sense of the word,my GOD i felt so muchHURT AND SORROW for his family but at the same time i truly believe his parents already new that they were in the presence of an angel…GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  2. AUNT BUNNY

    DONNY WAS MY NEPHEW AND I AM SO PROUD OF MY LITTLE HERO. I WILL MISS HIM SO VERY VERY MUCH,BUT I KNOW HE IS UP THERE KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE ON EVERYONE AND I WANT TO THANK EVERY ONE FOR THEIR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS IN OUR TIME OF NEED. DONNY IS GONE BUT HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

  3. LAURA RICHERME

    DONNY WAS A VERY SPECIAL LITTLE BOY. FOR THE FIRST 2 1/2 YEARS OF HIS LIFE I WATCHED HIM GROW. I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE HIM IN MY LIFE. DONNY IS HOME WITH THE LORD NOW. SO LETS ALL PRAY FOR MICHELE, KENNY, VIRG., & LITTLE ANDY SO THEY CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THEIR TIME OF NEED.

  4. D. J. RICHERME

    DONNY WAS MY 1’ST COUISIN I WILL REALY MISS HIM NOT JUST ME BUT EVERY BODDY IN HIS FAMILY AND HIS FREND’S FAMILYS I MEAN IN KARAH’S FAMILY. SHE MUST BE A VERY SPECIAL GIRL TO HAVE MY SPECIAL ANGEL I MEAN OUR SPECIAL ANGEL. GOD BLESS DONNY,AUNT MICHELE,UNCLE KENNY,COUSIN’S VIRGINA & ANDY.

  5. nana

    my special grandson, i love you very much and i will miss you. I also am so very proud of you. Watch over andy and virg they miss you so very much. Your papa mel misses you too, and he also is very proud of you.

  6. Rachael

    Being a mother of three young boys myself, (one of them 6 years old), I am compelled to write this tribute to such a great little guy. I can only pray that my children would have the heart that little Donny did. I have been so moved by the selfless act of such a young child. My prayers are with the family of this ANGEL and my hopes are that your hearts will heal and you will know that your short time with Donny was a blessed time. He is smiling from above knowing that he was loved and cared for. He saved his friend because he was taught love by his family. He is so brave. I cannot say enough about someone I knew not. I just wanted the family to know that he has touched soooo many hearts in ways they will never know. May God Bless your family and may the memory of Donny the Hero live on forever. After all, all little boys dream of being a Hero someday… Donny definetly lived that dream!!!
    Rachael N.
    Bakersfield, Ca
    leahcar222@yahoo.com

  7. Gayle

    There is nothing greater than a child! Although the family will grieve, there is no doubt that he is with God and the family can be so, so, so, proud of such a great little man. This touched my heart and I had to respond!

  8. Diane

    What an honor to have had such a noble child. This kind of courage is rarely shown by adults much less a six year old boy. He acted on instinct which could only have come from God and God has taken him to be His own. God bless this family. I shall pray for you every night. You will see Donny again and it will be more wonderful than you can imagine.

  9. Kym

    I will give my 6 year old Spencer an extra tight hug tonight for you Mom and Dad. I can’t imagine you’re pain. My God keep you strong and together for your 4 year old. What a brave boy.

  10. Uncle Dave

    I can remember watching Donny when he was little. Taking him and his sister to the park, making lunch for them and taking them over to nana’s house. Donny is truely OUR LITTLE HERO. We all could and should learn something from this ordeal.We should all strive to show compassion and unselfhishness like Donny did. Although, it is very hard for all of us, we must take pride in what Donny did. Donny we know you are looking down on us right now. Donny you are very special and Aunt Leslie and myself along with Uncle Hammy, Aunt Bunny, Nana, Papa Mel, your Mom and Dad and your sister and brother miss you very much.

  11. Keith R. Wood

    I get so tired of news stories of corruption, selfishness, and people who will take the slightest advantage . . .then there is a story such as this. He didn’t just save his friend, he gave us all something to look at when we need to believe that there is GOOD in people. Age means nothing — this is how a MAN lives. This is how a man DIES.

  12. Amy Maloney

    hi this is Robin’s friend Amy Robin tould ne how much she love him and i fell bad for her and Donny family I am so sorry for the people that lost him. It will be ok I’m so sorry.

  13. R Buckhalter

    Litte Donny is setting on Gods lap missing his mother and Dad as they miss him.
    But remember as a little boy he did the most honorable thing a man could do.
    He gave his life for a friend
    God rest his soul

  14. Eunice Marie Gamez

    I had to search the internet for this story, because I wanted to always remember this boys name. When I heard this initially, I was so proud of this little boy who gave his life to save a friend. Now I will never forget Donny’s name and face. An Angel indeed.

  15. DJ Richerme

    Please help us get through this i loved him so much, i would go to the end of the earth to see him again. it is so sad he had to leave at an early age he will miss out on so much i really miss you donny please look over every one you loved and cared for.

  16. Kristen a close friend to the richerme family

    Donny was brave to save the girl from the pool even though he couldn’t swim.I know people honor him and the miss him.Well i didn’t know him but what robins family said about him makes you want to cry. Rest In Peace Donny.

  17. Lisa Markiewicz

    I knew Donny personaly and he was the sweetiest little boy you could have ever have the pleasure of meeting. God is with him. He was such a caring little guy. He is in our thoughts all the time.
    Michelle and Kenny God be w/ you both. I hope all is well. Verg and Andy Pants I miss you both very much so do the kids.
    Love Lisa
    We would love to talk to you one day again.

  18. virginia

    I am donnys sister i miss him so much I remember watching him grow up. And putting my bathingsuit on him when he was 5.HE never hezitated to jump in. When he grow up he wanted to be Spiderman. He was gos warrior.Nomatter how much i hurt him i loved him very much.Sometimes I cry myself to sleep.Donny REST IN PEACE.

  19. Courteny

    I DIDNT KNOW DONNY THAT WELL BUT VIGINIA TOLD ME ALOT. I KNOW HE IN IN GODS HANDS NOW. IF I KNEW HIM BUT HE SEMES NICE. HE IS VERY LOVING. I AM VIRGINIA’S BEST FRIEND. R.I.P DONNY.

  20. Karah's Mommy

    Years have went by and Donny will never be forgotten. Each and every day I pray and thank OUR ANGEL. He was my Daughter’s Hero and will always be in OUR hearts and minds. Not many will risk their life to save another’s but Donny was a strong and brave young boy and did what many are afraid to do he came to Karah’s RESCUE. HE served a great purpose here on earth but GOD called him home to serve a even greater purpose in Heaven…
    Donny’s dream to be spiderman was definitely fulfilled he became the WORLD STRONGEST SUPERHERO!!!
    God Bless His Family My Prayers are With You Always and Forever… I’m Sorry and Thank You
    DONNY WE LOVE YOU and MISS YOU GREATLY…..

  21. jazmyne

    I heard about what happened to Donny Richerme and my mom is engaged to Kenny Richerme. So when my mom gets married to him, I will be older then the other 2 and the 2 younger ones in dan’s family and younger the other 2.
    Donny will always be IN MY PRAYERS!!!
    I miss you!!

  22. donnys real father kenny

    I miss him so vary much. Andrew Virginia too i love you and miss you you all are in my prayers and i hope to god Karah is doing good in school cause she was his special little friend hope to see you again some day I MISS YOU BUBS LOVE DADDY

  23. MADISON

    i KNOW I HAVE NOT EVER SAW YOU BEFORE AND BUT VIGINIA TELLS ME ABOUT YOU. PLUS IF I MEET YOU I WOULD LOVE YOU JUST LIKE ANDREW BUT I WILL SEE YOU IN HEAVEN SOME DAY AND I WILL LOVE YOU. AND VIRGINIA TALKS ABOUT ALL THE TIME I WILL MISS YOU. SE YOU IN HEAVEN.

  24. virginia

    i thank everone personely this virginia houser richerme i miss my dad kenny and my step sister jazmyne. And most imprtanly my hero donny iam in 6th grade now and andy 3rd his birthday comeing up and i had a dream of donny telling me to going to this. If tears could build a stairway and memories a lain I’d walke up to heven and bring you home aging.God shows us his love and compasshon on a weird way but we all know he loves us and he is takeing care of donny and my grandma virginia.My god be with you and your childern and family’s

  25. Becky (a family friend)

    It is so hard to believe that its been 5 yrs since we lost Donny. We all still miss him very much, and know that he is looking down on his family and friends. A true hero in every sense of the word, we love you Donny.

  26. virginia houser richerme

    he was a true hero hero even befor death he was nevern mean or shallow always the nices person in the world.sometimes i wish i was nicer to him in life i alway tell as maney people about him as i can cause i know it might change people s lives. In some ways hes still hear in the lives of maney …… but if he knew the truth of our real dad kenny he might be disapponted of his OWN FATHER AND HERO.i miss him many people do so never foreget the memorie. WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE THEY STAY WITH YOU FOREENER!!!!!!!

  27. amanda

    dear donny u are the brother that i never had u are a very nice litttle boy . I know that i was never able to meet you but virginia told me all the good and fun times you two shared together.
    God has called u up to the light into heaven.
    one day when its my time to leave earth,
    I will be able to see u and be with u in heaven and we can be together
    one day.
    R.I.P FOREVER!

  28. karah wilson

    i am soooooo sorry about this i know he ssaved me and i know he done good sometimes i have dreams that he never died but i died i wish he was still here and i still lived there and we would be best friends forever i LOVE YOU DONNIE u r know my guardian angel:D

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