Hero coach saves student from drowning in pool

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Student calls her coach a hero

CHANDLER - A Valley teen suffered a seizure during swim practice and lost consciousness underwater but she survived thanks to her coach's quick thinking.

Kandace Jilek did not swim in Thursday's swim meet but she still attended thanks to her swim coach at Chandler High School, a man Kandace now calls her hero.

Ordinarily in the water winning races, on Thursday Kandace was the Chandler High School's swim team's #1 fan. She has not yetbeen medically cleared to dive back in after an epileptic seizure in the pool nearly cost her her life.

It happened when she was swimming the 100-meter freestyle during practice on Tuesday.

She explains how she was swimming before she says it got "kinda blurry." It got blurry because the 16 year old was at the bottom of the pool drowning in Lane 1.

Luckily her coach, Kerry Croswhite, was nearby and without thinking twice dove in after her.

He tells 3TV, "Kandace wasn't breathing and she didn't have a pulse so I immediately started rescue breathing and I was hoping and praying that what I was doing was gonna help Kandace and help bring her back and revive her.

Thankfully, it did but still Kandace says she cannot believe the great lengths her coach went to to save her life.

She says, "Once I found out one of coaches gave me CPR I was like 'Wow, that's how much he cares'."

Now with a renewed love of life and swimming, Kandace says she will not be taking any more chances with her epilepsy. She is anxious to compete again. Epilepsy or not, she says she is ready to swim but until her doctor gives her the green light she tells 3TV, " I'll be here being a cheerleader."

This was not the first time Coach Croswhite has rescued and resuscitated students. In fact, twice before he has performed CPR to save students' lives. That is the reason he says it is so important that everyone knows CPR because you never know you are needed.