A toddler was given a second chance in life after being saved from drowning by a pre-teen who happened to be in the pool area of her apartment complex in Fairfield, California.
Teen's Selfless Actions Honored
CBS Sacramento reported on Tuesday that 12-year-old Tamaiah Massot has been repeatedly awarded by various agencies and institutions for her heroic deed two months ago. While Fox40 highlighted that Fairfield's officials, California's attorney general, and hospital staff were among those who awarded Massot for saving the toddler's life.
The most recent recognition she received, as per The Mercury News, is the Citizen Life Saving Award given by the Fairfield Fire Department last May 27 in her school, Public Safety Academy. The Fire Department presented the award together with the Fairfield Police Department, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and NorthBay Medical Center. NorthBay previously awarded Massot as an Honorary Nurse.
During the awarding ceremonies, officials highlighted how Massot jumped into the pool without hesitation, pulled the child out, and began CPR until she was resuscitated. Massot is regarded as a local hero, especially since she only learned how to perform CPR on her own.
"It was on Youtube and a video on how to do CPR came up on my recommended. I was like, might as well. I mean I'll probably never use it, but I did," Massot told Fox40.
Teen's Persistent Focus Gives Toddler Second Chance In Life
The incident took place in the pool of the Fairfield Apartment Complex on March 30. On that day, Massot's two-year-old neighbor got into the swimming pool without being noticed at the security gate. The child then fell into the pool's deepest part--nine feet--and struggled to get out the water. Then the two-year-old girl became face down in the water and unresponsive.
It was at this time that Massot saw the toddler. The twelve-year-old then took off her shoes knowing that it would make it easier for her to swim. She quickly jumped into the pool and took the toddler over to the stairs where she started to give chest compressions.
"I gave her chest compressions over there. She wasn't too far away, she was like in the middle," Massot said.
"I wasn't thinking about like if I was scared or not. I was just like I'm going to save this child's life because she's in danger and I can't just leave her there," she added.
Massot shared using her three fingers on the toddler's body while trying to remain calm and persistent in what she was doing. She remembered that the toddler already looked pale with blue-green-looking lips and eyes that were very veiny by then. She also recalled seeing white bubbles coming out of the child's mouth.
Massot disclosed thinking that she could possibly save the child's life to give her a second chance in life. So she went past how the child looked at those moments and at the whole situation and "focused on helping her."
When the toddler started coughing, Massot carried her to her mother, Elizabeth Noel, who was nearby. Mother and daughter then ran to the leasing office so they could call 911. The 2-year-old was immediately brought to NorthBay by first responders and has fully recovered as of date. Massot said she felt so relieved that the toddler is now safe and alive.
"It makes me feel good inside that I saved her life," Massot stressed.
Elizabeth shared that one of their house rules was restricting Massot from being behind the screen too much. With what happened, Elizabeth said that the rule should be dependent on the kid because "sometimes it's not so bad."
A similar incident took place three years ago where a 10-year-old, Jayla Davis, saved her three-year-old sister, Kali, from drowning in the pool in their Georgia home. The children's mother, Daneshia, has been advocating for child safety ever since. Daneshia and her family have been featured in various shows and publications where she repeatedly warned not to rely on the false security of floaties.
Jayla was similarly honored by officials, who regarded her as a "Dekalb County Hero" for saving her sister's life by learning CPR from YouTube videos.