‘He was not breathing’: Teenage lifeguard saves drowning toddler in Henrico

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A toddler’s family is thanking a teenage lifeguard for saving their 2-year-old son on Thursday. 

“I’m still a little bit shaken up from it,” 16-year-old lifeguard Michael Wood said.

Around 11:30 a.m., Wood was working at the Westwood Club when he saw a young boy laying at the bottom of a pool’s shallow end. Seconds later, Wood realized it wasn’t a game.

“I thought he was actually playing and holding his breath under water,” Wood told 8News. “I jumped in, grabbed the kid out, and, sure enough, he was completely passed out and he was not breathing.”

Wood said the 2-year-old’s face was blue. He then gave the toddler rescue breaths. 

“He turned red, got up and started crying,” the teen said. 

The teenager said the boy’s father ran over, hugged him, and thanked him for saving his son. As an avid swimmer, Wood is grateful his skills continue to help others. 

“This whole thing could have gone south but quick actions from everyone made this kid be able to take another breath and walk on this earth again.”

Henrico County police say they’re investigating the incident but don’t suspect any foul play or neglect. The boy was doing well, even talking, when police arrived. He was brought to the hospital as a precaution.

This wasn’t the first time Wood rescued a swimmer in distress. Last year, he saved a young boy who was drowning after jumping into a pool’s deep end.

The 16-year-old is taking a couple days off of work. A Westwood Club’s manager told 8News the lifeguard couldn’t have handled the situation any better.

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