The two heroes who rescued Britney Spears' 8-year-old niece, Maddie, are speaking out for the first time, telling Inside Edition exclusively that the girl was not breathing and didn't have a pulse following her horrific ATV accident.
By some miracle, Victoria Ragoonath and John Fortner had stationed their ambulance just two minutes away in a remote town outside New Orleans when they got the emergency call.
Ragoonath told Inside Edition: "There was an ATV, it had rolled into a pond and there was a hysterical woman on the phone. We turn on the lights, sirens, and we head to the address."
They had no idea they were being directed to Jamie Lynn Spears' property.
When they arrived, they found the vehicle, which Maddie had gotten for her birthday, upside down in the water.
A desperate Jamie Lynn and Maddie’s stepfather were in the pond trying to right the vehicle.
Fortner said: “They were doing everything to free her from the ATV. They just were not successfully able to get to her. We both entered the water to try to flip the ATV over so we could get out whoever was trapped inside.”
They managed to get the ATV on its side and that's when they saw the 8-year-old underwater. That was the first time they realized it was a child who was trapped.
"When we got to her she was not conscious she was laid across the seat, tangled up in the safety netting that runs around the ATV," Fortner said.
Ragoonath added: "We went to pull her out but we realized her head was stuck in something. At that point we didn't know what it was — the water was so dark. It was pond water. At that point, John was able to free her head from whatever it was."
They got Maddie to dry ground where they began quickly doing life-saving CPR. She did not have a pulse and was not breathing.
Ragoonath said: “John started CPR and I started ventilating her and we were able to place her on the second ATV that was on scene and take her to our ambulance.”
They said the situation felt like an eternity, but in reality was only about 10 minutes.
They raced to rendezvous with a medevac helicopter 10 minutes away and as the situation seemed grim, Maddie began showing signs of life.
“John was able to get a pulse back on her in the back,” Ragoonath said.
The rescuers say they are amazed at Maddie's remarkable recovery. She's been released from the hospital and was well enough to spend Valentine’s Day handing out cards at her school.
“It's an amazing feeling," Ragoonath said.
He echoed that sentiment, saying "prayers were answer."