This story has been updated to reflect that the Marine Corps trainee was airlifted to a Charleston hospital, not Beaufort Memorial Hospital as was initially stated in the Corps’ news release.
A Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island trainee was taken by helicopter to a Lowcountry hospital after being found “unresponsive” at the depot, according to a Marine news release.
Oscar Company Parris Island senior drill instructor “Staff Sgt. Acosta” was awakened Feb. 4 by a knock on her door, informed of the recruit’s condition and found the trainee “lying between the foot locker and the racks,” according to the Thursday release, which indicated the incident occurred in a barracks. (Parris Island officials confirmed Friday morning that the drill instructor is Newport News, Va., native Tram A. Acosta, who joined the Corps in 2010 and has served as a DI since July 2015.)
Acosta administered chest compressions and was soon assisted by military policemen Peter Bunting and Sean Sullivan, who administered CPR but had to use a defibrillator when they couldn’t find a pulse.
The recruit was “life flighted” to a Charleston hospital, Marine Corps Air Station spokesperson Capt. Clay Groover said Friday afternoon, explaining the Corps’ news release inaccurately stated the flight’s destination was Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
The recruit was, however, initially transported to Beaufort Memorial by ground ambulance before being airlifted to Charleston, Parris Island spokesman Capt. Adam Flores said Friday afternoon. Officials at Charleston’s MUSC Hospital would not confirm if they received a recruit by helicopter — that information, as well as a recruit’s condition, would have to come from the military, they said.
Citing Marine Corps privacy policies, Flores said he could not share the recruit’s name nor the medical condition that prompted her hospitalization.
Flores said the recruit is back on Parris Island after being discharged from the hospital.
The recruit was breathing when Acosta first found her but stopped soon after Acosta reported the incident and called for help, according to the release.
“I saw that she was still breathing so I immediately ran back and called the duty, and when I returned that’s when her breathing stopped,” Acosta said, according to the release. “I straightaway began resuscitation procedures until first responders arrived.”
While Bunting and Sullivan have assisted with emergencies before, this was the first time one of them had to use a defibrillator.
“I arrived first on scene and as I turned the corner I observed the senior drill instructor giving chest compressions to the downed recruit,” said Bunting, according to the release.
Bunting couldn’t find a pulse, so he radioed Sullivan and requested the life-saving device.
“We’ve probably seen it all when it comes to here and other places we’ve worked,” said Sullivan, according to the release. “(I’ve) done CPR a few times, but this is actually the first that I’ve had to use an actual defibrillator. We’re trained in high-stress situations like this so we don’t really have time to second guess ourselves or get nervous.”
The incident appears to have occurred on Forming Day 2, just a few days into the training process, according to a photo caption accompanying the release.
The release did not specify the recruit’s current condition, the nature of her medical emergency that prompted the life flight or her status in the recruit training process.
Oscar Company is part of Parris Island’s all-female 4th Recruit Training Battalion, the unit that trains all enlisted women Marines.