Massiah Browne told Good Morning America that while he was swimming and playing at a relative’s community pool on July 19, he noticed a three-year-old boy at the bottom with his mouth and eyes open.
“And I went to go get him,” Massiah said.
Massiah dove into the six-foot deep water and grabbed the toddler’s arms before swimming to the surface, where his relative, Savannah, 9, raised the unconscious child out of the pool and onto the deck.
“Savannah brought him to his mom, and then they did CPR on the boy, and then they called the doctor,” Massiah said.
Bystanders dialed 911 and began performing CPR on the boy.
The Sacramento Fire Department told ABC News that the boy was breathing again when first responders arrived at the scene.
Tiara Delvalle, Massiah’s mother, spoke with the toddler’s mother, who reported he is doing well.
“It’s definitely a miracle,” Delvalle. “I’m so blessed to have him as a son.”
Delvalle expressed her gratitude for Massiah and called his action brave and heroic.
Massiah’s father, Marcus Browne, who competed as a boxer for Team USA in the London 2012 Olympic Games, said he was in shock when he heard about his son’s act of heroism.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Browne said. “He’s a good kid.”
Browne said his son, who also goes by his superhero nickname “Siah Fire,” has empathetic qualities and that his actions were “really nothing out of the norm.”
“It’s just crazy that he’s seven years old that was doing things like that,” Browne said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning ranks as the leading cause of death, other than birth defects, for children between one and four years old, and the second leading cause of death for kids up to 14 years old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that male toddlers and teenage boys have the highest risk of drowning.
“In 2018, 900 children and teens under age 20 died from drowning,” according to the report. “That year, 7,200 were seen at a hospital emergency department for a drowning event, with 35% of those children either hospitalized or transferred for further care.”
The academy recommends keeping close and constant attention on children when submerged or near water and using four-sided fencing at least four feet tall around a pool.
“Drowning is quick and silent – not at all what people might expect – and it can happen in a bathtub, an inflatable backyard pool or hotel pool or beach where lifeguards are on duty,” Sarah Denny, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report, written by the AAP Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, said on the academy’s website.