HILLSBORO, Mo. – A man who nearly drowned in Hillsboro says his life was saved because of a peculiar piece of Cardinals merchandise.
James Stapleton said it was it was supposed to be a fun day in the sun at Raintree Beach when he suffered an epileptic seizure and fell into the water.
Stapleton’s family noticed his Cardinal koozie floating in the water and knew something was wrong.
“The water was crystal clear and I found him. Lifeless. He was facedown and already gone,” said Brandon Volkmar, Stapleton’s cousin. “Not knowing if he was going to come back. They said he had no life left in him.”
Volkmar and his friend, Edward Aguado, noticed the koozie bobbing on the surface and pulled Stapleton’s body from the water. Kirstie Frazier performed CPR to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.
“Pulled him out of the water and he was gone. He was changing colors and he wasn’t breathing,” Aguado said. “There was nothing whatsoever. It was like pulling a sack of potatoes from underneath.”
Stapleton continues to recover at the hospital for a dislocated shoulder and bruised ribs, injuries he suffered while receiving life-saving CPR compressions.
“I owe them a lot that I can’t really repay them,” Stapleton said.