By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jamal McNeill, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – A sailor assigned to the Navy’s forward deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), assisted in saving a woman’s life onboard a flight, April 11.
After talking to a fellow passenger about his job, Hospital Corpsman Christopher Marroquin, from Miami, dozed off only to be woken up for a medical emergency. Without hesitation he gathered his bearings, located the individual in need two rows behind him, and accessed the medical situation.
Marroquin, a dental technician aboard Ronald Reagan, was returning from his hometown on a flight from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Narita Airport, Japan, when his medical training and knowledge was needed after an 80-year-old Japanese woman was found unresponsive by flight attendants.
“When I was woken up I just thought about getting to her and seeing if I could be of assistance,” said Marroquin. “As I got to her, a physician got there at the same time. He took her pulse and found her unresponsive, so we decided to do CPR.”
Marroquin’s instincts from the training he received as a corpsman kicked in, and with the help of the physician, he performed three cycles of CPR then used an automated external defibrillator to revive the woman and save her life.
“As soon as I knew that I could be of assistance I just resorted back to what I learned from my trainings a corpsman,” said Marroquin. “It was like second nature.”
The heroic efforts of Marroquin didn’t go unnoticed by his fellow passengers or leadership.
“I am very proud of corpsman Marroquin,” said Cmdr. Pat Fox, Ronald Reagan’s senior dental officer. “He is a very humble guy, but it is my job to ensure that he is recognized for his quick response and heroism.”
The elderly women became responsive for a brief moment after CPR was performed, but again became unconscious. She was closely monitored for the remainder of the flight and was turned over to Japanese medical teams when flight landed.
Marroquin’s life-saving effort shows that the training received in the military can be used for medical emergencies on the battlefield, on battle ships on the open ocean and even commercial airplanes in the sky.