Eric Greitens Likely Saved Man's Life at Mar-a-Lago, Witnesses Say In this May 23, 2017, file photo, then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to supporters during a rally outside the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP)
By Marisa Herman | Monday, 12 April 2021 02:12 PM
Eric Greitens, the ex-GOP governor of Missouri and a current Senate candidate, sprang into action to help save the life of a man who collapsed near the Navy SEAL at Mar-a-Lago’s beach club on Saturday afternoon.
Greitens was at the club when he said he heard the man, who was not identified due to medical regulations, collapse and hit the pool deck pavement, where he lay bleeding, seizing, and not breathing.
"We were having a meeting and there was a loud crash," said Greitens, who underwent extensive medical training as a SEAL. "I looked to my right and it was clear there was a situation."
He said he immediately saw the situation was dire.
"When I got there, he was having a seizure and his airway was blocked," Greitens said. "He wasn’t breathing."
He also noticed a significant amount of blood pouring from "serious gashes" on the man’s head. As soon as he reached the man, who was about 10 yards away, Greitens said his medical training kicked in.
During his military career, Greitens rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve. He was deployed four times during his active duty days, serving tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. His commendations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
"You just kind of revert to your training," Greitens said.
He specifically recalled one drill during SEAL training in which he had to pick up a fellow SEAL, who was covered in dirt, sweat, and gear, throw him in a pickup truck, jump in, and administer an IV – while the truck raced over rocky terrain.
"After you have all of that training, it does all come right back to you," he said, recounting his instinctual response to the beach club emergency. "As soon as he was down, I was moving in that direction. I started doing an assessment of what was happening in terms of his breathing and his airway."
Greitens said he opened up the man’s mouth and got him breathing again. He then tended to the man’s head wound by applying pressure that stopped the bleeding.
Witnesses to Greitens’ heroic medical intervention told Newsmax it likely saved the man’s life.
"It was humbling to witness what appeared to be the life-saving actions of Eric Greitens," said a witness who was having lunch at a nearby table. "His Navy SEAL training was obvious; he responded immediately – without hesitation – to defuse the health crisis."
Greitens, who along with several other prominent Republicans and GOP donors was in Palm Beach over the weekend for the Republican National Committee’s closed-door donor retreat, wasn’t the only one who rendered aid. He said Mar-a-Lago staff rushed to retrieve a first aid kit and towels to help control the bleeding until paramedics arrived.
"I am really grateful to everyone [involved,]" Greitens said. "The paramedics arrived and they did a good job and got him to the hospital."
Greitens said he heard the man is "recovering very well."
Saturday’s drama wasn’t the first time Greitens had to draw on his military medical training as a civilian. In July, he helped provide first aid to two men who were shot near St. Louis University, according to KSDK.
Greitens told the outlet he was having pizza with a friend when they heard what sounded like automatic gunfire. He said the two grabbed medical kits from their cars and rushed to help the victims before paramedics arrived. Both men were too badly injured, however, and were pronounced dead at the hospital.
In late March, Greitens announced a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2022. He’s running for the seat that’s being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt, who announced earlier in the month that he wouldn’t run for a third term.