Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Second chances don’t come often, but when they do, it can be
a tremendous thing.
Veteran Marine Sgt. Mark Eakers was given a second chance at
life June 13, 2011, when the Quantico Fire Department responded to the scene of
a serious motorcycle accident. It was
the I-95 on-ramp number 148 where they found Sgt. Mark Eakers of Security
Battalion clinically dead. He had no
pulse, he had turned blue, his lungs had collapsed and his trachea was deviated
to the left. Typically, this would
signal that there was nothing that could be done. Fortunately for Eakers, the five fire fighters
and emergency medical services personnel that arrived on this dismal scene that
day decided not to give up on him. They
immediately began implementing every lifesaving measure they could. In the end, they saved his life that
In honor of their exceptional efforts that fateful day,
Eakers, his fiancée Lindsey Layla, and their four children, traveled all the
way from Florida by car six years later on the anniversary of his accident to
personally thank the Quantico fire fighters and emergency medical services team
for saving their loved one’s life.
“Without you, he wouldn’t be here, that’s a fact,” said
The entire family listened as the fire fighters who were on
scene that fateful day recounted what happened.
“He is a one percenter,” said Sgt. Steve Denton, emergency
medical technician. “When we left there
(Sentara Hospital) we didn’t think he was going to make it. We usually don’t receive any information once
we drop them off at the hospital.”
EMS personnel and firefighters at the joyful reunion June 14
said they were thrilled to learn that he had survived the accident. They also said that they had often thought
about him through the years and often wondered what had happened to him.
Seeing Eakers walking, talking and showing that he was
living a good quality of life – and that he had even had two children since the
accident – is a day the fire fighters will never forget.
The fire fighters recounted some more of the story and recalled
that they had called in an airlift to Fairfax, which has a trauma center. However, in order to be airlifted, a patient
must first have a pulse, according to the firefighters and EMS personnel. Chris
Payne, the emergency medical technician primarily working on Eacker decided
there was no time to lose in saving his life, so they quickly loaded him in the
ambulance and headed for Sentara. Payne
worked on him the entire way to the hospital.
Right before they arrived at the hospital, Payne got a pulse and Eaker
was then able to be airlifted to Fairfax, as the helicopter met them at
Sentara. The Quantico Fire Department
personnel never knew what happened to him until the family visited the station.
“I want to apologize because it took six years for you to
find out,” Layla said.
All the fire fighters and EMS personnel on hand told her
they are just glad they actually got to see the result of their efforts and
that they were very thankful for that opportunity.