What could have been a tragic family Memorial Day weekend instead brought families, volunteer firefighters and beach patrol members together in saving a fortunate young adult.
Gracie, my youngest daughter, was swimming with her cousin Daniel in the surf in the Sandbridge community when a series of waves rendered her unconscious.
When neighbors and her cousin Christian noticed Daniel holding Gracie’s head above water, they raced out to bring her to the surf’s edge.
Gracie’s older sister Gabrielle, a recent graduate from Salisbury University’s nursing program and a registered nurse at the University of Maryland’s neurological intensive care unit, immediately began CPR and directed others to provide support.
With the help of neighboring nurses on vacation, a pulse and breathing was regained. Multiple 911 calls were made.
Members of the fire department, the Sandbridge Volunteer Rescue Squad and beach patrol arrived like cavalry in mere minutes and took over providing medical assistance. She was transported to a local hospital.
Other than strained neck ligaments and chest bruising from the CPR, the hospital staff reported that Gracie was recovering well. She was released the next day.
I want to thank the neighbors at the beach, my daughters and their cousins for their immediate response. Without their quick actions, the medical professionals and volunteers may not have had much to work with.
A special thanks specifically goes to these rescuers for their professionalism and compassion in saving my daughters life: lifeguards Barry Kirschner and David Leydet, both also volunteer paramedics, and Kyle Vince; fire Capt. Steven Adams, Firefighter Stephanie Anderson and Master Firefighter Timothy Kauffman.
I will be eternally grateful to all mentioned above and to God for allowing a delay in taking one of His angels to stay with us a while longer.
— Norman Karolenko, Berlin, Md.
© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC