Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune -- An instructor from School of Infantry East was car shopping with his wife earlier this year when he heard “a loud thud” and turned to see a dealership employee lying lifeless on the floor.
While many onlookers stood still, seemingly paralyzed by shock, instinct and training took over for Sgt. David Rogers and his wife Anastasia Rogers. Without hesitation, the couple assessed the situation and discovered the employee did not have a pulse. Together they began CPR.
With Anastasia performing rescue breathing and David executing chest compressions, they restored the victim’s pulse. The unlikely heroes continued CPR until paramedics arrived, saving the life of a man neither knew.
Though recognition or accolades were likely the furthest thoughts from the couple’s minds that day, Marine leaders took notice. On March 26 David received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Anastasia a certificate of commendation from the commanding officer of Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East.
Following the presentation, David’s humility gave way to pride as he spoke of his wife. “We are a great team,” he said.
According to the National Institute of Health, a person who is not breathing can suffer permanent brain damage within four minutes and die within six minutes without CPR. The life-saving steps before the arrival of paramedics greatly increases chances of survival. However, health institute data indicates paramedics more often arrive on scene to discover nobody has performed CPR.
David and Anastasia agree consistent follow-on training and recertification in CPR were among the most significant factors that day enabling them to save a life.
“If you do something a thousand times, eventually it becomes second nature to you. I’ve done CPR enough to know I can jump into a situation and take charge.” David said.
After learning CPR, it is important to regularly recertify the skill and stay current in new advances, said Anastasia. “That way when a situation occurs it’s second nature to you,” she said.
David used the occasion to offer a piece of advice about CPR training.
“Do as much as you can – train. Everybody should be trained in CPR. Don’t take it with a grain of salt. I thought I was going to go there to buy a car, not save somebody’s life.”
David and Anastasia recently had dinner with the man they saved and his family.
“He’s doing really well,” said David. “There’s something left here on earth for him to do, we just helped him stay here.”