Weirton man saves high school student’s life


WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) – The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for most, but if it weren’t for one Weirton man, an Ohio Valley family might have had to spend the holidays grieving the death of their daughter.

Screams were heard from the cafeteria at West Liberty University. That’s when Dave ran outside to find Sydney laying on the floor surrounded by students. But thanks to his quick thinking, Witnesses are now calling him a hero.

Dave had agreed to help with Indian Creek’s band camp, because they were shorthanded. But had no idea he was in the right place at the right time. He didn’t know her name. She was a complete stranger. One of over 140 kids in a band at Indian Creek High School. But thanks to training at his work, Dave and Sydney are forever connected.

I’ll be honest, it was all kind of a blur. I just reacted. I’ve done it in the past. You just react and think about it afterward.

DAVE TRIKONES – Maintenance Supervisor, ArcelorMittal

That reaction was CPR. Sydney was attending band camp at West Liberty when she went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, Dave’s job, ArcelorMittal, required him to be trained in CPR and an AED. Something he never thought he would use.

I would have had no idea what that meant, so I’m just so thankful that companies train their staff on CPR and AED because you never know when you’re going to use it.


Nurses arrived after Dave started CPR. Sydney was purple, unresponsive, with no heartbeat or pulse. The nurses grabbed the AED, and Dave followed his training. Ultimately shocking her back to life.

No one really realizes it, but everyone’s life can just go away. You don’t know when or what’s going to happen.

SYDNEY MELIA – Sophomore, Indian Creek HS

Sydney was rushed to Wheeling hospital, then life flighted to Pittsburgh, but is now healthy. She doesn’t remember anything that happened that day, but she now knows she has a forever guardian in Dave.

“Would you say that he saved your life?” Asked 7News reporter Shelby Davis.

Yeah. I know a whole bunch of people did, like my friend that was there. Everyone else thought I was joking, and laying on the ground, and she was the only one that knew there was something wrong with me. So, if she wasn’t there to tell someone, and if he wasn’t there to do CPR, I don’t think anything would have happened with me.

SYDNEY MELIA – Sophomore, Indian Creek HS

The family is urging everyone to go through a CPR and AED class, because you never know when you will be the one in the same situation as Dave was with Sydney. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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