PreventionSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

Texas Athletic Trainer Honored for Life Saving Efforts


PreventionSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

Texas Athletic Trainer Honored for Life Saving Efforts

Article reposted from My SA
Author: Vagney Bradley

Thanks to the quick actions of two Cy-Fair Independent School District employees, a district groundskeeper’s life was saved.

Melvin Doran, groundskeeper at Cypress Woods High School, and Louie Villarreal, athletic trainer at Cypress Woods, were recognized at the trustees meeting on Jan. 23 for saving their fellow employee’s life during the holiday break.

On the morning of Dec. 29, Doran noticed his co-worker leaned back against the mower near the tractor shed, suffering from an apparent heart attack. At that time, Jim Sikora was unresponsive.

“My heart was beating loud enough that I could hear it in my ear drum,” Doran said. “For some reason, I was totally calm, aware of what was going on, and something just took over.”

As Doran called for help to the Wildcats practicing on the nearby soccer field, he cleared Sikora’s airway and performed CPR. The soccer coaches called Villarreal, activating Cypress Woods’ emergency action plan.

In the crucial moments that were to follow, Villarreal joined Doran carrying an automated external defibrillator machine, delivering a shock while he and Doran continued two-person CPR. The two men continued the resuscitation until first responders arrived to provide further assistance.

“It is a surreal feeling to know I was able to help someone when they needed it most. There wasn’t much time to think about it,” Villarreal said. “I let my training take over and made sure I did everything I needed to do to have the best possible outcome.”

During the board meeting, members of Sikora’s family spoke of their appreciation they had for the men and their quick actions to save their loved one’s life.

“It was an amazing honor to be recognized by the school board. Also, his sisters were there and they also gave us a gift. It was very humbling,” Doran said. “I am just more happy that he is alive and got a chance to continue living.”

Doran and Villarreal both feel their teamwork helped save Sikora’s life. Both men felt honored to be recognized by the school board.

“It was a humbling experience to be recognized by such a prestigious group of people such as the CFISD school board, Superintendent Dr. Mark Henry, Athletic Director Ray Zepeda, and many district administrators,” Villarreal said. “However, I believe the best part was having a positive outcome with the whole situation. Also, having the opportunity to meet the family members of the individual was an extremely fulfilling experience.”

The American Heart Association plans to present both men with a HeartSaver Hero Award during the Feb. 2 Cypress Woods staff meeting. The American Heart Association’s HeartSaver Hero Award recognizes people that have stepped in to save a life by performing CPR.

“The fact of knowing I saved someone’s life is amazing, but I was just happy that I was able to be there to help him,” Doran said.