Video: Father rescues 2-year-old daughter from drowning in pool

GASTONIA, N.C. — A video released by the Gastonia Police Department shows a father rushing to save his daughter from drowning on Memorial Day.

“I turned around and saw my 2 ½-year-old daughter Mila floating and I jumped in right here just like this and saved her and where it comes out and rounds out, that’s where I put her to do the CPR,” Matthew Shortridge said.

He and his wife, Amy Shortridge, said their daughter who they say is a “little fish” got into the pool without her floaties.

Matthew Shortridge jumped in, propped Mila up on the ledge, and performed CPR.

“Turning her over and seeing her blue, lifeless, listless body limp, not breathing at all,” the father said. “And that’s when I was like, oh God, oh God, my baby is dead.”

The couple said a family friend performed chest compressions while someone else called 911.

Mila slowly opened her eyes and coughed up water.

“It was just an overwhelming moment of joy in my heart,” Amy Shortridge said. “And I just began to thank God so much for allowing my husband to stay so calm in that moment.”

GEMS took Mila to a hospital, and the Shortridges said healthcare workers helped Mila make a full recovery.

The parents describe themselves as hypervigilant and warn all adults should be prepared for the unexpected.

“I believe if you’re a parent, you should have CPR,” Amy Shortridge said. “I believe you should go out and get training and know what to do to save a life.”

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