“Squared away” is how Jim Woods, father of Jennings Woods, referred to the group of Navy JROTCs (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) after they saved the life of a young woman during an end-of-the-year gathering over the weekend.
Sometime during the outing at Givhans Ferry State Park, about 25 miles from Summerville, a few of the students noticed a distressed youngster outside the park’s bathroom facilities. Instead of walking by, the students asked the boy, age 6, if everything was ok. Crying, the child said his mommy was in the bathroom and wouldn’t come out. Alexis Smith, one of the JROTC students, said, “Something just wasn’t right about it.”
When they entered the ladies room, the child’s mom was found on the bathroom floor, unresponsive, with a needle in her hand. That’s when the team jumped into action.
According to today’s Summerville Journal Scene, Smith told another cadet, Caitlin Fusco to dial 9-1-1 while Smith removed the child from the immediate area. Grant Hatcher felt for a pulse on the unconscious woman and without forethought for his own health and well-being, began chest compressions and later began rescue breathing. Two other cadets, Wyatt Miller and later Makenzie Hydrick both assisted with CPR measures until the woman was able to breathe on her own.
Deputies from Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 9-1-1 call. An incident report filed later indicated the woman had overdosed on heroin. Follow-on care was not mentioned nor was care and custody of the boy.
Capt. Jerry Hupp, Summerville High School Naval Science Instructor praised the cadets for their quick actions and for not giving up on the patient. The unidentified woman is from Cottageville which is some 14 miles from the state park.