Rambo saves child’s life

Rambo Phillip with one-year-old Deonny Leon four days after saving the boy’s life. Photo: Roger Muller.


The airport picnic park on weekends is always full with families and picnic goers enjoying the sun. Most would go for a cool swim and play volleyball. For others they would just light the grill for some good old fashioned BBQs. For most kids, excitement at the beach is a favorite weekend pastime.

But that was not the case when both Rambo Phillip and I were invited to attend a kemem for the son of our dear friend Miaka Luther. Rambo and his daughter were already at the family gathering around one in the afternoon this past Saturday. I was driving from downtown; little did I know disaster struck the picnic area.

Rambo was just helping the other boys cook and tending the grills. Instantly disaster struck, a grandmother (bubu) ran across the area shouting for help. Her one-year old grandson drowned, face turning purple, showing classic distress signs of a child lacking oxygen.

Rambo, the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society’s First Aid and Health Officer, jumped into action, running in the direction of the grandmother.

He immediately offered to help the poor child. Taking the child in hand, he began checking the vital signs. He then launched into the resuscitation cycle to revive the the boy.
During the heat of the distressing rescue, a large crowd was forming around the scene. Despite this, Rambo stayed focused on seeing the infant kept pace with the resuscitation cycle. He laid the boy face-up on his forearm with the boy’s head supported by his hand giving firm back blows to the shoulder blades. Alternating between back blows and chest thrust. Moments later, the infant vomited salt water and cried — at this sign of life, the crowd burst into cheers and clapping with excitement.

The boy’s cry gave clear signs he was breathing and was conscious. He was in stable condition and was promptly transported to Majuro hospital for further care, and later released. Rambo saved Deonny Leon’s life that day at the park.

We paid a visit to his home to find he was playfully enjoying life running around. It was a happy sight for Rambo seeing Deonny at home and we wished him an early birthday. Deonny is turning two next month.

I still remember arriving late to the party to find people telling me the story of Action Rambo — a nickname I will proudly say for Red Cross’s own First Aid and Health Officer Rambo Phillip.

The Marshall Islands Red Cross Society’s mission is to have at least one First Aid and CPR trained person in every household in the country. A task I know Rambo will succeed in accomplishing. We encourage everyone to learn First Aid and CPR — a skill for saving lives.

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