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SUNNY ISLES BEACH (CBSMiami) – There was an emotional reunion between a woman who nearly drowned in Sunny Isles Beach and the hero who jumped in to save her.

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The City of Sunny Isles Beach presented Javier Fernandez with the medal of valor for coming to Rose Cireus’ rescue when she was drowning two weeks ago at the Newport Pier.

What Fernandez did not know is that Cireus would be there to thank him personally.

Fernandez was having lunch with his wife and baby when he heard screams from bystanders and quickly jumped in the water to save Cireus.

“As I was under the water, I thought my life was actually over so when I saw my eyes and I saw all white I was like, ‘Wow, this is it,'” said Cireus.

When Fernandez jumped in and grabbed her, he says the current pulled them both back.

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Minutes later, Fernandez dragged Cireus onto shore where it appears she wasn’t responding until he turned her on her side and Cireus started to move again.

“When I actually opened my eyes back, I was in the sand and I didn’t know what happened, who saved me,” said Cireus.

Since that day, Cireus has wanted nothing more than to meet the man who saved her life.

“I will never forget him till the day my life is over on this earth, I will never forget what he did for me,” said Cireus after meeting Fernandez.

“My heart was beating fast,” said Fernandez, about meeting Cireus.  “It was like seeing someone I’ve always known who I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

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During the ceremony, Fernandez was also presented with a two-night stay and dinner for two at Newport Beachside Hotel.