An Army sergeant put his life-saving training to the test, reviving a seemingly lifeless child who had drowned in the waters of Hawaii.
Sgt. Anthony Tunstall was working with Task Force Oceania near Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 11. He was visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center when their escort pulled the child from the waters of the Tongan lagoon, according to an Army news release.
Tunstall, a trained Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, conducted first-aid and CPR on the child.
Other soldiers called 911 while Tunstall continued life-saving measures, which helped revive and stabilize the child until paramedics arrived, according to the release.
“I’m just thankful that I was in the right place at the right time so that I could provide medical assistance,” said Tunstall. “I’m grateful for all of the medical training that the Army has put into me. That training means that a young child can continue to experience life.”
The child was taken to a nearby medical center in Honolulu and later transferred to another center before being released.
“My son, Vini, is doing well. He’s awake and fighting off the wires. He got up and just went to his mommy to hold him,” the child’s father, Ulise Funaki, told local news on the island earlier this month. “Please let Sgt. Tunstall know of our love for him.”
Tunstall, a soldier with 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is attached to a unit with Task Force Oceania. That task force is designed to build and cultivate relationships with countries in Oceania, which includes parts of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, according to the release.
Tunstall obtained his EMT-Basic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It was part of his AIT as a Combat Medic Specialist.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.