Merced County Times Newspaper
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Fresno Pacific University graduate already helping save lives

Gary Gramenz and Marie Celine Roque at the Outstanding Graduates reception.
Gary Gramenz and Marie Celine Roque at the Outstanding Graduates reception.

Many graduate from Fresno Pacific University with the goal of saving lives as a nurse—but one who graduated on Dec. 17, has already done that for an FPU dean.

Marie Celine Roque, who received her Master of Science in Nursing as a nurse practitioner, was part of the team a few years ago that saved the life of Gary Gramenz, Ph.D., dean of the FPU School of Education.

Gramenz passed out on a couch in 2018. Emergency services were called and, “I coded on the way to the hospital,” he said.

In all, he was in Community Regional Medical Center four months with a complex lung infection. He spent the first month in a coma, also battling the flu, pneumonia, an auto-immune reaction and kidney failure.

Unsure what else to do, doctors turned to the ECMO machine, a “last resort” for respiratory and cardiac cases. Roque was part of that ECMO team—the team that saved Gramenz’s life.

For her academic efforts, she won an Outstanding Graduate Award. But for Gary Gramenz, Roque will always be more than a great student.

Roque was one of around 400 students eligible to participate in the morning event at Selland Arena in Fresno, including 214 from the bachelor’s degree completion program, 122 from master’s programs, 59 from traditional undergraduate programs and two from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.
Graduates from traditional programs and the seminary attend classes at the main FPU campus in Fresno. Degree completion and master’s students attend regional campuses in Merced, North Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield.

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