MAST Global

Preparing for an Emergency

Semper Paratus - "Always Ready"

A situation you never want to be in
mast global
What would you do?
My life has been forever changed

As I write this it has been 147 days since my son Dominic passed away and there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss him or cry. The tears are not for him but for the separation there is between us.

The day I found Dominic unresponsive in his bedroom will be forever imprinted on my mind and heart. How thankful we are for the trained medical staff who cared for him every step of the way, as he was taken to our local hospital by ambulance, and then air flighted to a regional children's hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

Preparing for an Emergency

Recently I attended mariner training as required by the United States Coast Guard and the most difficult part was the classroom discussion on what to do if you find someone having a seizure.

Training is key to being prepared for any maritime emergency too, whether in port or at sea. Every mariner needs to be prepared for the worst that can happen aboard any vessel, whether a medical emergency, fire, or having to abandon ship.

Every five years, all mariners (both deck and engineering) must renew their certification in basic safety procedures and 2022 is my renewal year. San Jacinto Maritime College in Houston is just a 4-hour drive and the training includes fire prevention and firefighting, sea survival, personal safety, and basic first aid/CPR/AED.

Panic in the Smoke

Following the first day of in-class theory instruction, day two started out cool for which we were all grateful. It can get warm in the fireman's gear and more so extinguishing a fire! Search and Rescue is always a highlight, but not for the two new students who became confused inside the smoke-filled shipping container being used as a mock ship. With coaching after few moments of panic on their part, we successfully extracted the 'dummy' crewmember and ourselves!

Into the water

Sea Survival exercises include donning sea survival suits in preparation for the pool training, and the outside temperature was only 40°. Stepping off a platform into the pool, we backstroked our way to the life raft. We are then required to enter the life raft unaided in these dry suits before exiting. The next exercise is to tread water for a minute unaided by life jackets or any other floatation device.

First Aid, CPR & AED

The third day focused our attention on brushing up on our First Aid and CPR/AED skills. These basics are essential to being prepared for all eventualities. In any emergency situation, those who are prepared can and will have the most positive outcome.

Maritime Training College
Houston, Texas, USA
At Dominic's hospital bedside

It was during this last training session that my thoughts immediately returned to Dominic and the evening of November 5th, 2021. In less than 12 hours, our family had gathered from four states to be at his bedside in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

We knew we had just hours left with him, so we chose to spend those precious hours and minutes praying for his healing, singing hymns and choruses, and reading scripture over him.

At 8.30 pm that evening as we were informed that his oxygen levels were changing, we all wept and prayed for him as his heart was naturally beginning to shut down. At 9:24 pm Dominic's heart stopped as I lay my head on his chest. I heard it and at that moment the veil between eternity and earth opened up and I was aware of God's presence, of eternity, and was forever changed.

Through the Veil

There is no visual chasm that I can look across to see if I can catch even a glimpse of him. Dominic is now outside of our time and space and in the presence of God, and with those of our family who have gone before. This truth brings me unexplainable joy, and yet a sorrow I have never experienced.

My perception of heaven has certainly changed, but change like this is not easy. Yet this one event in my life has afforded me an opportunity to focus on what is truly important. So what is that? Scripture tells us it is to love God and to love others. This is now my renewed focus!

Dominic and I took out the ship's tender when I was instructing for a 3-month Seamanship and Navigation training when he was 13 years old.

He passed away aged 17 in November 2021.

#missingdominic #alwaysready #trainingtotrain