12-year-old saves toddler from drowning at hotel pool

ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich. -- Tuesday afternoon, 12-year-old Brayden Armstrong walked back to the pool at the Days Inn Hotel at 5770 E. Pickard Road in Mount Pleasant to grab some clothing he forgot, when he noticed a 3-year-old floating lifeless in the pool.

Armstrong, from the Muskegon area, tells FOX 17 he jumped into action to save the toddler who police say had slipped on the steps and fallen in the pool.

Armstrong, his older brother Blake, wrestling teammates and coach were staying at the Days Inn for a wrestling camp nearby when this happened. Wednesday afternoon his teammates applauded Armstrong in front of our cameras.

"I'm glad that he's okay," said Armstrong.

"I forgot my clothes because I was swimming before and I saw this little kid just staring at this body floating in the water. So the little kid ran away and I jumped in, pulled the kid out."

Armstrong says he saw a brother of the toddler who was about five-years-old standing helpless at the pool's edge when he told him to get help then pulled the toddler out of the pool. He says the child's mother, then others staying at the hotel including a nurse, performed CPR until the toddler regained consciousness and the ambulance arrived.

"I just saw the kid and jumped in," said Armstrong.

"I was standing there for a second thinking like well maybe he’s going to get up, like he was just messing around in the pool, and I realized he wasn’t getting up so I jumped in and grabbed him.”

Brayden's mom says she is extremely proud of her son's heroic actions.

“I could not explain how proud I am," says Jennifer Armstrong, Brayden’s Mom. "There are no words. This is something I’m never going to forget, he’s never going to forget, and those parents are never going to forget.”

Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main says the toddler's parents work different shifts at the hotel. Tuesday, as one parent was about to go home with their children the three-year-old wandered to the pool, slipped on the steps, and was trapped underwater for nearly two minutes.

He's calling Armstrong a hero.

“When you talk about heroes, heroes are people who do things outside their wheelhouse, things that aren’t normal to them or they haven’t been trained to do, those are true heroes," said Sheriff Main.

"For a 12-year-old boy to walk in, comprehend what’s going on that quickly and pull him out of the water, there’s no other word to describe him than hero. That’s what our fiber is made up of human beings, and that’s a great story and thank gosh that he was there because he definitely absolutely saved this young toddler’s life.”

The sheriff says the toddler is expected to be okay. The Days Inn & Suite management staff had no comment as of Wednesday evening.

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