Former Nurse Saves Chief's Life
By Jamal Hayes, 116th ACW Public Affairs
/ Published September 19, 2006
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A golf course is normally a scene of relaxation and tranquility. This was not the case when an ordinary 18-hole outing turned into a life threatening situation.
Chief Master Sgt. Robert Stewart teed off on the third hole at Robins Air Force base
Golf course, May 24, and hit a great shot. "I haven't hit the ball like that ever," said the Supply Functional Manager.
After hooking his next shot he reached into his bag to switch clubs. "I felt a strange feeling in my head," Chief Stewart said. "The last thing I remember was telling myself, 'sit down because you're in trouble.'"
As Chief Stewart's body began convulsing a nearby officer came to his aid. 1st Lt. Tiffany Changet was about to tee off when her fiancee called to her. She quickly followed him to find the Chief Master Sgt. Lying on the ground with a crowd of on lookers.
"I started to see his features, he was bluish gray so I knew he wasn't getting air," Lieutenant Changet said. "I was actually happy to see he was having a seizure as opposed to a heart attack."
Quickly, her training as a nurse soon took over. She had one year of nursing school when she was 18 and spent nine years with the 914th Airlift Wing as an aerovac nurse.
"I dropped to my knees and I grabbed him and I yanked him over, almost onto my lap and his head was next to me," said Lieutenant Changet. "I then gave instructions to the people standing around to help keep him cool by giving him shade and a cold towel around his neck."
Although the lieutenant's nursing skills allowed her to perform under pressure she admits the days events didn't go without fear.
"It was scary when he was nonresponsive," Lieutenant Changet said. "I was frantically looking for a pulse and there was nothing."
Shortly after the Lieutenant came to Chief Stewart's aid he was taken to the emergency room, was treated with Intravenous fluids and released about five hours later. He is currently feeling better and is awaiting test results to figure out the cause of his seizure.
The chief master sergeant credits Lieutenant Changet's actions for the reason he is alive today.
"I wouldn't be talking right now if it was not for Lieutenant Changet," Chief Stewart said.
The lieutenant insists that her deed was one that she was qualified to perform.
"I didn't do anything I wasn't trained to do," said the lieutenant. "I just reacted."
Lieutenant Changet's deputy squadron commander wasn't surprised when he heard of her actions.
"I don't think the average person would be able to do what she did," said Maj. David Johnson. "The fact that a situation arose and she decided to act is not a surprise at all. She jumped in and that's exactly what I would've expected from her."