Through Sharing their Stories, Survivors Continue to Bring Compassion Consciousness to Business and Industry
Written by: Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.
"I suffered a massive heart attack. My heart stopped, and the medical crew brought me back to life. I can only imagine the training they received because they seemed very organized. The follow-up that we received from Norwegian Cruise Line was amazing. They came to the hospital. When my wife and I took a cruise years later, we saw them again.”
-Manny San Pedro, Norwegian Cruise Line Guest Survivor
The FAERF Institute's 2023 Member-Partner Meeting will feature testimony from guests, passengers, employees, crew, and family members from various industry responses. As with all presentations, survivors share their stories to educate employee responders for the greater good of future responses.
The evolution of guest and employee care in the cruise line industry cannot be better shown than by the story of Manny San Pedro and his family. Manny, his wife Felicia, and their fifteen-year-old son experienced compassion from the crew on the ship and other employees who helped transport them from the ship to the hospital, which involved a tender boat, an ATV, and an air ambulance.
As Manny lapsed in and out of consciousness, he distinctly remembers the kindness and support offered to his wife and son, which they confirmed as they spoke about the crisis later. In addition, Manny describes feeling safe and comforted by the crew's response, including holding up blankets to shield him from the sun as he was transported from the ship to a tender boat.
“I started to feel like I was a child. Felicia, the child, was panicking.“
-Felicia San Pedro
Felicia, Manny's wife, details the effects of this experience on the family. She speaks of how her emotional responses made it difficult for her to think clearly regarding insurance and other issues involving money and credit cards. Her story provides crew members and care team responders insight into how best to support those who are not physically injured but whose emotional safety is at risk.
In her recorded interview, Felicia gave many examples of how crew members and other employees supported her and her son. She was particularly touched when the pilot who flew Manny to shore drove them to the hospital, as there was no room in the ambulance. She also appreciated how the cruise line sent care team responders to the hospital.
“My son Elias was 15 years old. And he witnessed a very traumatic event. Moving forward, he struggled a lot, and I was starting to tune into it…."
-Felicia San Pedro
Felicia’s interview further provides insight into the potential long-term impact trauma may have on children who watch a parent in a life-threatening experience. Her son's reaction to visiting a friend in the hospital several years later caused her to realize the impact the trauma had on him. When Manny was hospitalized again, Felicia gave her son a choice about visiting him. Instead of visiting with his father in the hospital, he opted to send a letter.
In speaking about their son's long-term reaction to Manny's traumatic experience, both parents made suggestions as to what might be helpful in future circumstances. While recognizing that the medical crew's primary focus is on saving the life of the person who is at risk for death or injury, suggestions involved other crew members, who might offer children opportunities for participating in activities out of view of the life-saving activities.
May 16-17, 2023 - Member-Partner Meeting
Attendees of the upcoming meeting in Miami, FL, will not be disappointed in the learning experiences from Manny and Felicia San Pedro and all of the speakers scheduled to present.
Click here for more information about the meeting.