DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Holding a teddy bear and smiling, Usely Michel, 13, shook hands with the 11-year-old boy who saved her life Sunday after she nearly drowned in a community pool.
"I said thank you to him because he saved my life," Usely said about her encounter with Angel Rivera. "If it was not for him, I would not be here today."
The reunion happened at Highland Mobile Home Park on Wednesday, just after the teen was released from a hospital.
Usely and her family were at the pool last weekend, despite signs saying it was closed, when Usely ended up unconscious in the water.
That's when Angel stepped in and dove into the water, pulled the teen out and performed CPR until first responders were able to come to the teen's aid.
She was taken to a hospital in critical condition and was released Wednesday.
"I feel like he is my son," Marielle Michel, Usely's stepmom, said. "I met him now. I talked to him. This is my angel now. After God that's him. He saved my daughter's life."
Angel has been praised for his courage by his family and friends and said if he had the chance, he'd do it all again.
"It's no risk," he said. "It's just doing something very good."
Angel said the entire incident has inspired him to become a first responder or do something that would allow him to help animals.
As for Usely, she said she plans on taking swimming lessons.