GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A Greensboro mother said her 8-year-old son saved his grandfather from drowning, and he barely even knows how to swim.
It happened Thursday afternoon at the Terrace at Olde Battleground Apartments.
Christian Matos and his grandfather do lots of things together, so it wasn’t unusual for the two to go to the pool at the apartment complex where they live. But this visit, it was Christian’s quick thinking that quite possibly saved his grandfather’s life.
It started like any other trip to the pool.
“We started playing,” Christian said. “We started laughing and stuff.”
But the fun quickly turned scary.
“I saw him just like floating with his head down,” Christian said.
Christian’s grandfather was having what doctors think was a stroke. With no help in sight, Christian jumped into action to get his grandfather out of the water as best as he could.
“I just picked him up and put him on the staircase so that way he could like breathe for a second,” said the 8-year-old. “I tried pumping his chest.”
It wasn’t easy for Christian. His mom told FOX8 he isn’t a strong swimmer.
“It was like really hard because he was kind of too heavy for me,” he said.
Christian was scared, knowing his grandfather wasn’t breathing.
“My legs started shaking,” he said.
But his adrenaline kicked in, and he was able to get his grandfather to the pool steps and call his mom.
“He said mom, ‘pawpaw is dead,’ and I ran, and he had his pawpaw. Half his body was still in the water, but the other half was out,” said Cerise Hammie, Christian’s mother.
Hammie alerted the apartment complex, and a worker called 911 for help.
It was a team effort to keep grandpa alive, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Christian.
The workers even gave him a trophy for his bravery. He’s still shaken up about everything but knew he had to save his pal and would do anything to make that happen.
“Because I love him,” Christian said.
He shared this message to his grandfather.
“I love you, pawpaw,” he said. “I hope you feel better.”
His grandfather is still in the hospital, but is expected to be OK.
The family isn’t sure when he’ll be released. Christian hopes it’ll be soon, so they can take another trip to the pool.