Good Samaritan

A long time ago, I found myself helping with a kid’s Sunday school class.  I had just returned from some form of exercise or deployment, which one escapes me, and is not germane to the story.  At the time, I was assigned to the At-Sea Fire Party.  We drilled at all hours to respond to emergencies.  On a cruiser, you have three Hospital Corpsman in a good month.  Being fellow emergency responder types, we helped Doc during medical emergencies not related to fires and the like.  All of that for this.  I was in the classroom, learning how to teach children, and a college age friend of mine came screaming through the door.  “HELP!HELP! My sister is passing out.”  Remember that part about incessant drills?  Response was so ingrained into my psyche,almost Pavlovian even, that I came to offer what assistance I could.  Almost automatically.  Big sister, also college age was writhing in pain on the ground, screaming in pain.  I called her by her name, and told her that I was there to help.  In my mind my inner dialogue was something akin to, “Check for hazards.  Why is she on the ground?  How did she get there.  Ok here.  ABCs.  She is screaming, that means she has A and B.  No bleeding.  I better check the pulse.”  By this time, former Army Ranger T showed up, a regular dude in his forties those days.  We determined that she had a pulse, and began to question her and sister as best we could.  Food consumed, allergies, etc.  There were no medic alert bracelets or necklaces, and the Children’s Pastor had shown up.  He was slightly panicked, but to his credit, he stood back and watched.  During the initial assessment, we sent a runner to find her parents, and had another person call 911.  It never ceases to amaze me what kind of crowd this draws.  Ranger T was deferring to me since I had been there first.  He may also have assumed that my training was more current, since I am active duty. He and I were very no-nonsense about the whole thing.  Once we figured out it was a seizure, all we could do was comfort the poor girl, and await the “Dr. Truck”.  I have never felt as helpless as I did at that point.  A young lady, who I happened to know, screaming for her Mom, her healthy sister sobbing softly on the fringe of the group, and Ranger T and I having nothing more to do than reassure the poor girl.  Of all the wounds we train to combat, a seizure is the worst.  When the medics arrived, we gave them the info we had, and carried on.  The next time I saw her, she was in much better health, and actually thanked me for my efforts.  That made it all worth my while.


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