DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida teen who was pulled from the bottom of a community pool in Deerfield Beach got a chance to personally thank the 11-year-old boy who came to her rescue, Wednesday.
Thirteen-year-old Usely Michel, who was just released from Broward Health Medical Center, has Angel Rivera to thank for saving her life. She got that opportunity three days after the harrowing ordeal that initially brought them together.
7News cameras captured the emotional reunion between both children and their families. Mirelle Michel, Usely’s mother, swept Angel off his feet and into her arms.
Angel and Usely, both of them sixth-graders at Deerfield Beach Middle School, had never met before Sunday evening. Usely, who can’t swim, was playing with her sisters at the Highland Village’s community pool when she ventured too far into the deep end.
When asked if she was scared when she realized she was unable to return to the pool’s surface, Usely replied, "Yes."
Sunday night, Angel told 7News how he dove in after her. "I saw here, like, floating on the floor, just like a star," he said. "She was all the way at the bottom. Her sisters didn’t know how to swim as good, so then I went and jumped in."
Angel reached Usely and pulled her out of the pool. A neighbor ran to the scene and began administering CPR before rescue crews arrived. Paramedics were able to get Usely to breathe again and transported her to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition.
The teen was released from the hospital on Wednesday. 7News captured her in front of her home holding a stuffed bear her teacher bought her.
Moments after seeing Usely for the first time since he rushed to her aid, Angel said it feels good to be a good Samaritan. "I didn’t see nothing but somebody at the bottom, and now they’re here," he said, "and I feel very happy because I saved somebody’s life."
When asked whether he considers himself a hero, Angel replied, "Yeah."
Usely said she will always be thankful for her guardian, Angel. "I finally see him. I’m so happy. I’m really, really happy," she said.
In the wake of Sunday’s incident, Usely said, she appreciates her family a lot more.
As for Angel, when he’s older, he would either like to pursue a career in animal protection or become a firefighter.