Mulloy saves woman’s life in jungle with CPR

Crosby Bank's Mark Mulloy

COSTA RICA– It was supposed to be a happy break from work for Crosby State Bank CEO Mark Mulloy, but it turned into an event that he will remember for his whole life.
Mulloy was with his family and some friends in Costa Rica, and had planned on a hike into a rain forest last Wednesday, June 21, as part of their tour package. They had invited another Houston group, including Sheryl Roppolo who they had met at the airport on the way from Houston. Mark knew Roppolo already, since she was the chief clerk for many years in Judge Mike Parrott’s office.
The group of family and friends numbered about 13.

As they proceeded up the trail, Roppolo began to feel bad, and mentioned this to the group. A few feet farther, and she fell, gasping and looking sick. When Mulloy caught up with her, he saw that she was desperate, and thought it might be a heart attack. Mulloy’s father is a doctor in Channelview, and years ago Mark had learned CPR from him. With the help of Terry Thomas from Huffman, who was also in the group, he began CPR. They applied pressure on her chest, breathed air into her mouth, and raised her feet.
At first Roppolo did not respond, and did not seem to be breathing. But after working on her for a while, they heard her breath, and she looked better. They carried her down the trail to a car that took her to the village of Jaco, where they all were staying. There, medical personnel at a clinic stabilized her, put her on an IV, and prepared to transfer her to a large hospital in the capital city of San Jose.
On Saturday of last week, Roppolo felt well enough to take an airplane from Costa Rica back to Houston. She is now recovering in Methodist Hospital, where it was reported that she would undergo additional treatment for her heart. Up until the event in the jungle, she did not know of any heart problems, although earlier in the trip she had felt some signs.
The Mulloy and Thomas families, both from this area, were able to continue their vacation without any additional excitement.
Remarkably, Mulloy was called upon once before to use his CPR training. About two years ago, while golfing in Atascocita, his golf partner had a heart attack and Mark administered first aid. However, in this case the attack was too severe and Mulloy was not able to save his life.
Mulloy noted that many people have learned CPR, a critical time saver and life saver in these situations. Training is available from the Red Cross in approved classes. In Highlands, CPR classes are organized by the Fire Department, and this year the Rotary Club plans to sponsor a training session too.