18th MP Brigade Soldier saves pregnant woman's life
December 2, 2011
ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 2, 2011) -- A military policeman was dispatched in response to a report of a baby crying an extended length of time, in base housing on Katterbach Kaserne here Nov. 16. Little did anyone realize that his response would ultimately result in saving a mother's life and her unborn baby.
Spc. Quindrea Johnson of the 527th Military Police Company, 709th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, was the first responder on the scene when a pregnant woman was found face-down in her apartment.
When Johnson arrived at the residence, he and his supervisor, Sgt. John Starr, were unaware of the situation on the other side of the door. After several failed attempts to gain a response from inside the apartment, Johnson and Starr announced themselves as military police while they loosened the holster on their weapons in preparation for any possible situation. Once inside the apartment, they conducted room clearing procedures.
"As an MP, when we get to the door we know there is a situation, we just don't know what situation," said Johnson. "We just have to go in there and make sure everybody's unharmed and stop the threat immediately."
Johnson started room clearing procedures and found the crying baby unharmed and quickly moved to clear the next room.
"I was the first one to the bathroom," said Johnson. "There was a blockage, so I used my body to ram into the door and that's where I found the woman laying on the ground face-down."
Karla Garcia, wife of Spc. Jihad Hadi Palms, an automated logistical specialist with the 412th Aviation Support Bn., was found on the floor of her apartment lying face-down.
Johnson instinctively fell to his knees, rolled Garcia over and noticed her eyes and mouth were shut and she was not breathing. He immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"She started gagging, so I tapped her on the side of the face saying 'stay with me, stay with me, stay with me,'" said Johnson.
Garcia responded informing Johnson of abdominal pain.
"I looked at the abdominal section, checked the abdominal with the hand-sweep method under to check for blood or any kind of sign of anything," said Johnson.
As emergency medical services arrived, Garcia told Johnson she was pregnant.
Garcia was then evacuated to Neuendettelsau Hospital for observation and to determine her condition and that of her baby. She and her baby are alive and healthy due to Johnson's heroic actions.
"While performing CPR, I was unaware of her pregnancy, so when I found out she (Garcia) was OK, it was a big relief," said Johnson. "When they told me the baby survived too, I felt like I had done the right thing."
Although Garcia remembers very little about the incident other than the feeling of Johnson's shaking hands as he pressed on her chest, she will always know that he was responsible for saving her and her baby's life.
"I'm glad the MPs were able to do their job," said Palms. "I really appreciate what he did and I want to thank him."
It's a great thing that as a wife I do not have to worry and know that if something happens the MPs will take care of me," said Garcia. "They took care of me and made sure I was OK."
"We can always rely on Secialist Johnson," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Dill, 4th platoon sergeant, 527th MP Co. "We know if he is on scene then things are going to be OK."