CAPE CANAVERAL – When Kathy McElmurray woke up in a hospital Sunday, she didn't know she had almost drowned. She can recall going for a swim the day before at Cape Shores condominiums, and floating on her foam noodle in the pool.
Then, she blacked out.
She doesn't know how that happened, but she has been told that an 11-year-old girl saved her.
Tuesday, near the pool where the rescue occurred, the city of Cape Canaveral formally recognized the heroism of Maya DiGiacomo.
She got a proclamation signed by Mayor Rocky Randels, a "life-saving award," and tearful hugs from Kathy and her husband.
Saturday, Maya was playing in the shallow end when someone said there was lady near the bottom of the pool. Maya was the only one at the scene who could swim.
She paddled to the deep end of the pool, dove, grabbed Kathy by the arm and pulled her to the edge of the pool, where others helped lift her out.
"People are really light in the water, so it was really, really easy," Maya said.
"I guess it was kind of scary," she said. "Otherwise I don't really know how to describe it."
Both Kathy and Maya were visiting from out-of-state. Maya from Colorado, and Kathy from Michigan.
Kathy's husband had their three daughters fly to Brevard in case she didn't make it.
"They said it was a miracle, so I believe it is," Kathy said. "It wasn't my time to go. My kids said I have nine lives. But I don't know."
She was once in a car crash, but nothing like this. Nothing that close to the brink of death.
"It's overwhelming when you think how lucky, like how lucky I am that little girl was there. Unbelievable."