While on a vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Brooklyn ten-year-old rescues a woman from drowning in the hotel pool. During his family’s trip, Waiden Guerrier went for a swim in the hotel pool with 39-year-old family friend Jennifer Jean-Baptiste. The two were enjoying the water when Jean-Baptiste began to struggle. "I just felt disoriented," she says. "I lost my footing. I couldn't feel the bottom of the pool, and I freaked out." She lost consciousness and sank to the bottom of the pool.
A strong swimmer with years of lessons under his belt, Guerrier swam down and tried to lift Jean-Baptiste to the surface, but it was no easy task. "She was unconscious," he recalls. "She was very heavy." But the fifth grader managed to pull her to the shallow end of the pool and get her head above water. He then yelled for help. Guerrier’s mother, Carine Senat-Guerrier, who works for the New York City Fire Department, called 911 before attending to Jean-Baptiste. "We started working on her until the fire department came and started doing CPR," says Senat-Guerrier, "and she revived."
When Jean-Baptiste regained consciousness, she was surprised to learn that Guerrier had rescued her. "The paramedics are like, 'He pulled you out of the pool.' And I'm like, 'What? The boy weighs 40 pounds soaking wet. How did he do that?'" The Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue presented an award to Guerrier before he and his family returned to Brooklyn. "If not for the actions of this quick-thinking young man, the outcome of this incident would have undoubtedly ended horribly," says Fire Captain Seamus Murphy. And Jean-Baptiste couldn’t agree more, adding “If Waiden wasn't there, I wouldn't even be here talking to you today."