Posted Date: Sunday, July 22, 2012

Navy Veteran saves toddler, 3, from drowing in Cedar Park

by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News and Photojournalist JUSTIN TERRY

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- After serving four years in the U.S. Navy and a tour in Afghanistan, a man from Cedar Park returned home just in time for another selfless act of bravery.

In the summer, the neighborhood pool is a popular spot. Friday, a neighborhood pool turned dangerous for a 3-year-old boy. A woman named Leslie noticed his body at the bottom of the pool and rushed to pull him out.

"He was blue, and he had foam coming out of his nose and his mouth," witness Marion Brown said. "It was just a lot to see."

There was no lifeguard on duty. Brown saw the drama unfold with her 23-year-old son Shavaire Griggs. Griggs had just returned home after serving his four years.

"I knew what I had trained in, CPR," Griggs said. "I just went for it. I was hoping for the best. That's all I can do."

The child had stopped breathing, so Griggs administered CPR, along with Leslie, who helped pull the child from the pool. Griggs knew the urgency of the situation. His own brother drowned at the age of two.

"I'm really proud of my son, because he stepped right in when he was needed most," Brown said. "There was several women at the pool with their little ones, and it was very chaotic."

The child's mother was in shock as Griggs administered CPR for nearly 10 minutes, never giving up. Eventually the child started breathing again, and his color returned.

"I thought he was gone," Brown said. "He didn't look like he was going to make it, but he did, and I'm just so glad."

The family says the three-year-old has already made a full recovery, but they do want to keep their names private. The family also wants to thank their neighbors for saving their son's life. Doctors said continuous CPR made all the difference in the outcome.

"I was prepared, but I think God was the one who brought him back," Griggs said. "I don't feel like a hero. I just feel I was prepared for it." 

This Navy veteran now hopes others will be inspired to become CPR certified.

Neighbors are now planning to go through CPR training. Drowning is the greatest cause of unintentional death among children five and under.