Rickie August Jr. had no idea that a regular visit to his Houston apartment complex’s pool would turn him into a hero.
God placed him in the perfect position at the ideal moment, knowing his heart would lead him through to a happy ending for all.
On Sunday, the 10-year-old, who prefers to be called Junior, saw the lifeless body of Egypt Brady, 5, on the bottom of the pool and didn’t hesitate to act.
“When I saw her not moving at all, I knew there was something wrong,” said Junior. “I knew that she was not just trying to float, so I just had to go down there and get her.”
He collected another breath for himself before diving down to retrieve Egypt from the pool floor.
Junior had been in Egypt’s position before, nearly drowning at one point in his life. His first instinct was to rescue the girl because he didn’t want anything to happen to her.
Junior explained, “I had just picked her up–put her over my shoulder and brought her to the stairs.”
He was met at the water’s edge by others who scooped her up and out of the pool and began administering CPR.
Worried about her survival, he returned home and wasn’t around to see that his actions made all the difference. Police delivered the wonderful news to Junior and his family once Egypt was safe and secure.
“She was not breathing at all. She was like passed out. I was very scared, and it was just super sad,” Junior recalled. “All I was thinking was like, ‘I hope she’s all right.’ “
Because of Junior’s quick actions, Egypt survived without any long-term damage.
Vivien Miller, a clinical supervisor with Cypress Creek EMS, said, “It was vital to her survivability. The fact that she is alive today is because of Junior’s efforts beforehand. “When we arrived, she didn’t have to have compressions anymore because she had a pulse and she was breathing, and she had vomited prior to arrival, which was the effect of getting all that water out of her system.”
Junior’s family was so proud of him. They threw him a party the following Wednesday to celebrate his heroic act.
“It doesn’t matter your size or your age… you can make a difference. You can save a life. You can change the world. The whole family is extremely proud of him,” said Tonya Taylor, Junior’s aunt, proudly.
Egypt herself was in attendance, along with her forever grateful family.
“I love you,” Egypt’s mom, Diamond Paulhill, cooed at Junior upon meeting him. “I was so scared. My baby was not breathing. She wasn’t doing nothing. Not moving.
“I watch stories like this all day, every day, and it could’ve been my story. But you know, my story came out a blessed story because of him. I’m so blessed,” she continued.
Junior is also highly pleased with himself, preferring to be an example to others.
“I like to be a leader for other kids because I think it’s important for other people to learn from what we do,” he said.