IS HE GOING TO DIE.....................................

       

  I took my son to Las Vegas for a few days in June to celebrate his 21st birthday .  On the return flight, an elderly gentleman a few rows in front of us suffered a "cardiac event".  A number of self proclaimed nurses on the flight began patting his hand and calling out his name without effect.  After a few minutes of watching this man fail to respond and turn a sickly shade of gray, I got up and volunteered my son to help me.   Together we got him down on the deck of the aircraft and put an oxygen mask on the man even though he was not breathing, had no perceptible pulse and was quite cold. Before I could begin CPR, his wife, quite scared, asked if I was a doctor. "No ma'am", I answered. "a corpsman with The Marines". "Oh", she said, "my husband was a Marine."  "Is he going to die?"  "No ma'am", I answered with the stock phrase, "No one dies on this corpsman without my express permission."  "What was your husband's rank?"   She answered " He was a private at Guadalcanal in World War II."  

  I immediately leaned over the man and over the engine noise yelled in the man's ear.  " Private, take a deep breath!"   After yelling this two more times,  the man's chest heaved slightly and then he took a good deep breath.  After a few more good hits on the oxygen mask, he opened his eyes.  Before we landed his color had returned, he had a good pulse and had warmed up.  Although still groggy,  as he was taken off the plane on a stretcher by the paramedics, he grabbed my hand and whispered, "Semper Fi".

P.G. Bradt, HM2
(FMF) Corpsman of Marines