Joint base honors sub piers gym employee for saving life

Manoa McCue, sub piers gym night supervisor, used her CPR skills to save the life of a gym patron.

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

What began as just another Friday evening on Oct. 5 at the submarine piers gym for Manoa McCue turned out to be anything but ordinary.

“I was getting up to throw something away when I heard someone shout, ‘Man down!'” said McCue, the gym’s night supervisor. “I knew something was wrong.”

She ran to the cardio room where the shouts were coming from.

“I saw one of our regular patrons on the ground,” she said. “He was turning blood red and his teeth were clenched.”

McCue started to administer chest compressions, with gym patron Dasan Sparks taking over for her when she started to feel winded.

The chest compressions were not working, and McCue was unable to open the sick man’s mouth to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She knew more extreme measures were needed.

“I yelled, ‘Get me the AED [automated external defibrillator]!'” she said. McCue pulled up the man’s shirt, wiped off as much of his sweat as he could, and proceeded to use the defibrillator.

“He was turning blue by this time, and I barely felt a pulse,” she said. “I pushed the button to give him a shock, and his eyes popped open and the color came back to his face.”

By this time the federal fire department had arrived to provide aid and transport the patient to Straub Medical Center. They later told Rodney Gouveia, sports and fitness director, that McCue used the defibrillator at just the right time.

“She didn’t use it too late or too early,” he said.

In light of her heroic, lifesaving actions, Manoa McCue was recognized by Capt. Jeff James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with a thank you letter and a $500 cash award.

“I would like to thank you for your outstanding heroic efforts on 5 October when one of our fitness center patrons at the sub base gym went into cardiac arrest,” James wrote in his letter. “Your quick reaction in initiating CPR and the application of automatic external defibrillator (AED) to the patron successfully resuscitated him.

“Your quick thinking, due diligence, professionalism and calm demeanor in this emergency situation saved his life. Statistics show that time is of the essence, and the EMS staff at the scene commented that your immediate response and diligent acts, is the reason for him to be alive today.”

The patron McCue saved was also thankful.

“He called the quarterdeck that night at 1:30 in the morning to find out who helped him so he could say thank you,” said Gouveia. “He later sent her a bunch of roses.”

For McCue, she was glad she could help one of the gym’s regular patrons in his time of need.

“He was in two or three times a day and was one of the fittest of the older people who train here,” she said. “It broke my heart to see him like that.”

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Category: News