John Deeks was without a pulse for nearly an hour - he was given mouth to mouth by a doctor who had been sunbathing

A man has made a "miraculous" recovery after nearly drowning and being left without a pulse for up to an hour.

Architectural technician John Deeks, from London, was dragged from the water by two bathers after his body was seen by a shark spotter off the Cape Town coast. A doctor who was sunbathing on the beach began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Dr James Laing said: "I don't know how long he had been in the water but I started resuscitation on him while someone else called for paramedics.

"It was between 12 to 15 minutes before they arrived and were able to use advanced techniques to revive him."

Darren Zimmerman, station commander at the nearby National Sea Rescue Institute office, said: ?The surf was coming in so we had to move him up the beach and into the ambulance.

"We don't know how long he was in the water but he must have been without a pulse for between 40 and 60 minutes."

Mr Deeks, a South African who lives in Colliers Wood, south London, was put on a ventilator after the accident last Thursday. He was taken off the machine on Saturday and made an immediate recovery. He was released from hospital last night.

Mr Deeks, 35, does not remember what happened but suspects a large wave may have dragged him into a whirlpool. "It's a miracle I survived," he said.

Mr Deeks believes he was dragged into a whirlpool by a big wave as he swam off Cape Town

He is due to move to Southend with girlfriend Rosie who was flying out to see him last night.

"She was pretty shocked about it," said Mr Deeks. "I feel lucky to be alive. Maybe my time just wasn't up."

Doctors at Victoria Hospital say they were surprised by his recovery. Mr Zimmerman, who is also operations manager with Cape Medical Rescue, said only five per cent of those given cardiopulmonary resuscitation survive.

"Most of those who survive end up with neurologicalproblems, difficulties with speech or more serious problems. Some survive for a week or two and then die.

"What happened to Mr Deeks is remarkable. For him to recover so quickly and with no obvious medical problems is a miracle ? something I've never seen before."

Mr Deeks's mother Diana, who he was visiting at the time, said: "I live close to the beach and saw something was going on. I knew something was wrong when he didn't come home so I phoned the police and they said there had been a drowning. I went cold, called the hospital and found out he was alive.

"It seems everything was in place for a miracle. If the doctor hadn't been there, or the shark spotter, he wouldn't be with us."




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Date: 1 Oct 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 2209

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