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EXCLUSIVE: Philadelphia Man Thankful To Be Alive After Near Drowning In Cherry Hill

By Matt Rivers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 31-year-old Philadelphia man is recovering after nearly drowning late Saturday night.

Smart, efficient work by emergency personnel is credited for saving Maurice Relaford, who had fallen into a swimming pool at the Kingston Estates Swim Club in Cherry Hill while attending a birthday party (see previous story).

How Relaford ended up in the pool is still unknown, but he was discovered at the bottom face down, according to his best friend.

Lifeguards pulled the man out and began CPR after determining Relaford had no pulse.

Paramedics arrived a short time later and used a defibrillator on Relaford, which got his heart pumping again.

“It was scary,” said Lina Baker, Relaford’s best friend.  “They worked on him for a long time.”

He was transported to nearby Kennedy University Hospital, where he again slipped into cardiac arrest.

Doctors and nurses worked on Relaford for over an hour before stabilizing him.

“If the patient is young and healthy and we think there is a good chance of he or she surviving, we’ll do everything we can go bring him back,” said Nicole Yuritch, a Registered Nurse at Kennedy.

Relaford made it through the night and woke up this morning.

“He’s doing great,” said Baker.  “And to all the doctors and nurses and EMT’s and lifeguards who helped save him, thank you.  They didn’t give up on him at all.”

Relaford will remain overnight in the hospital.

Kingston Estates Swim Club declined an interview, but said in a statement that they were grateful Relaford is doing well, and that they are grateful to their hardworking staff for following their training.

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