Marine sergeant receives commendation for life-saving actions
By Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez
| | June 01, 2012
CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
A Marine sergeant received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal here June 1 for saving a 5-year-old boy from drowning at a residential pool in Ewa Beach, May 19.
kapiolani medical center
Sgt. Augustin A. Delgado, a radio operator by trade who currently works as a watch staff noncommissioned officer at the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, command operations center, was swimming during his wife’s baby shower when a friend noticed Keli’i Ramento face down in the water.
“She said ‘there’s a baby in the water,’” recalled Delgado. “She grabs the child, pulls his head out of the water and starts crying and screaming. I grabbed the baby from her and put the child on the cement right outside the pool.”
Delgado was still standing in the water when he began applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the unconscious boy. Witnesses immediately called the paramedics.
He learned to perform CPR as a part the Combat Lifesaver Course during his pre-deployment training for Iraq.
While he was trying to resuscitate the child, Delgado checked for his pulse but said he felt nothing. He continued performing CPR on Keli’i with the help of a friend until the paramedics arrived.
“Finally the child took a deep breath and let it out, and that was it,” Delgado said. “I thought ‘okay, that’s his last breath.’”
It wasn’t. Delgado visited Keli’i and his parents at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children where he received treatment after the incident. A couple weeks later, the child and his family were present at Delgado’s award ceremony.
“He is adopted into my family for what he did,” said Keli’i’s father, Mark Ramento, who had never met Delgado before this incident. “[He is] my son’s angel.”
Keli’i’s parents told Delgado’s officer-in-charge their son would have died without Delgado’s immediate actions.
“I was proud of his actions in saving a life,” said Lt. Col. Kip P. Bunten, officer-in-charge of COC, MarForPac. “We as Marines are encouraged to make decisions, take action and not give up. The events of that day reflect that he upheld those standards.”