A 16-year-old lifeguard who is a County Sheriff’s grandson is being hailed as a hero after saving a drowning toddler in Henrico County, Virginia.
“It was scary, but once he started crying, I just sat back and cried too, because I knew that he was fine”, Michael Wood recalled his emotion after seeing that the little boy was in stable condition.
While working as a lifeguard at the Westwood Club swimming pool in 2019, the eagle-eyed teen noticed a 2-year-old lying at the bottom of the shallow end of the pool.
At first, he assumed the child was merely having fun underwater. “I thought he was actually playing and holding his breath underwater”, Wood shared.
According to Little Things, Wood remained focused on the boy to make sure everything was well. Then, only seconds later, another child bumped into the boy at the bottom of the pool.
Wood saw the youngster did not move or respond to the physical touch, indicating that something was seriously problematic.
Wood later quickly responded. “I knew what I had to do—I jumped in, grabbed the kid out, and sure enough, he was completely passed out and he was not breathing,” he said.
The boy had already turned a “pale blue-gray” tint when Wood grasped him. This was a clear indication that the boy’s lungs were not receiving enough oxygen. Wood instantly began CPR after comprehending the situation, said Parenting Isn’t Easy.
When the boy started to show signs of life, Wood felt relieved. “His cheeks turned bright red, and the color returned to his face,” he explained.
The incident at the Westwood Club was investigated by Henrico County Police. They do not believe there was any malice or negligence. The toddler was fine when they arrived. However, he was sent to a hospital to be assessed to ensure his safety.
Wood’s grandfather, Mike Wade, who is the Sheriff of Henrico County immediately dialed Wood’s number when he learned of the situation. His grandson confirmed that he had rescued a two-year-old child.
“[The rescue] tells me a lot about him. I couldn’t ask for a better grandson. He’s my favorite grandson. Of course, he’s my only grandson”, the sheriff shared his pride.
Wood was praised by many who witnessed the incident.
The teen lifeguard, however, said that he was simply doing his job. He enjoys being a lifeguard though he accepted it is not the easiest job.
This isn’t the first time Wood was praised as a hero. He also saved an 8-year-old child who had nearly drowned a year earlier after plunging into the pool’s deep end.
“This is 15 year old Michael Wood and he’s a HERO. He’s a lifeguard at the Raintree swim club in Henrico. On Saturday, he saved an 8 year old from drowning. You’re the man, Michael! A big shout out to ALL the lifeguards out there.” said Reba Hollingsworth – WTVR CBS 6 in her Facebook post in July 2018.