Life
Teen lifeguard breaks down in tears recollecting the moment he saved a toddler
It's a moment that will forever be etched into his memory.
Jake Manning
09.30.21

Lifeguards have an extremely important job. Whether it’s a pool, a lake, a river, or the ocean, lifeguards are the eyes and ears of safety on the water. And if someone is in danger? They’re the first ones to rush in to help.

Michael Wood, a 16-year-old lifeguard, is being hailed as a hero for saving a toddler.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

He was working at the Westwood Club when he noticed something not right. He looked hard at the bottom of the pool’s shallow end.

There, he saw a young boy.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

At first, he thought the child was just having a bit of fun. However, after assessing the situation, he realized that the boy wasn’t playing any game. He was really struggling for his life.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

In the interview, Michael shared:

“I thought he was actually playing and holding his breath underwater.”

When he realized that something was wrong, he quickly took action.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

He said:

“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.”

When Michael reached the boy, he was already “pale blue-gray” in color.

This was a clear sign that there’s not enough oxygen getting into the boy’s lungs. After realizing that, Michael quickly performed CPR.

Michael felt a sense of relief when the boy showed signs of life.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

He said:

“His cheeks turned bright red, and the color returned to his face.”

Right after seeing what happened, Michael started crying.

“And I was like, Praise God for that! It was scary, but once he started crying, I just sat back and cried too, because I knew that he was fine.”

People who’ve seen what happened praised Michael.

Pixabay - PublicDomainPictures
Source:
Pixabay - PublicDomainPictures

However, he insisted that he’s just doing his job. And even though he admits that being a lifeguard isn’t the easiest workaround, he finds it rewarding.

Michael is the grandson of Mike Wade, the Henrico County Sheriff.

When he heard the news, he quickly called Michael. The teenager shared that he had saved a two-year-old.

As a grandfather, the sheriff was just so proud.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

He shared:

“[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.”

Henrico County police started investigating the incident.

However, they don’t suspect neglect or any foul play. When they arrived, the toddler was doing well. In fact, he was already being chatty with them when they reached the scene. To make sure of the boy’s safety, he was brought to a hospital where he got checked.

It’s not the first time Michael rescued someone in distress.

YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6
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YouTube Screenshot-WTVR CBS 6

He was also able to save a young boy who nearly drowned after jumping into the deep end of the pool. This just proves that Michael really has the heart to become a lifeguard. He’s willing to do everything he can to save other people’s lives.

Plus, he acts fast, too. He knows exactly what to do when someone’s drowning or struggling in the water. As a lifeguard, that’s a vital skill.

Watch Michael’s entire interview in the touching video below.

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By Jake Manning
hi@sbly.com
Jake Manning is a senior writer at Shareably. He can be reached at hi@shareably.net
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