An 11-year-old Florida boy is an angel in more than just his name.
Angel Rivera is being hailed a hero after he saved a teenager drowning in a community pool in Deerfield Beach.
The boy and his friends were hanging out at the pool, which was closed, on Sunday night when he noticed that 13-year-old Usely Michel was at the bottom of the eight-foot-deep water.
"I looked in the pool, and there she was, her body looked like the shape of a star," Rivera told the Sun Sentinel, adding that he heard Michel’s sisters crying and yelling for her.
“I went and jumped in and pulled her out and gave her to her sisters. I had to save her life because her sisters were screaming,” he said.
Michel was pulled out of the water and bystanders started CPR while waiting for firefighters to arrive.
According to the Sun Sentinel, she was breathing on her own, but was unconscious as she was transported to Broward Health North Medical Center.
"He was astute and saw what was going on and fortunately pulled this girl from the bottom of the pool, and did the right thing and fortunately he did not become a victim too," Mike Jachles, spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, told the newspaper.
Michel’s mother, Mirielle Michel, told the Sun Sentinel that his daughter had moved from Haiti last year and didn’t know how to swim. She said they live in nearby Pompano Beach and visited the pool in the Highland Village community because her brother lives there.
"We go to church, and I thought, 'Let me give them some fun, a little bit, it was a hot day,'" she told the newspaper. "It was just supposed to be for 15 minutes."
The pool is closed on the weekends and on holidays, but the group gathered there on Sunday and entered through the clubhouse.
“Some kids think they’re cool ’cause they’re not around their parents,” he told WFOR-TV. “They’re like, ‘Oh I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that.’ But that’s the lesson learned today. You need an adult or a lifeguard to be with you.”
Rivera’s mother Violeta said her son didn’t hesitate to jump into the water after noticing that something was wrong. She said her son was very worried when Usely was taken away.
"Afterward he was home, crying and upset because she wasn't breathing," Violeta Rivera told the Sun Sentinel.
Usely Michel was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, but has improved, her mother said.
"She's doing a little bit better," Mirielle Michel said. "The lungs are still filled with water."
She said wants to meet her daughter’s saviors – Angel and the others who helped administer CPR – to thank them.
"God sent them my way," Mirielle Michel added. "I don't have money to pay them. But I want to thank them in person. They are heroes for me."