By Katherine Mozzone | January 12, 2019 at 10:28 PM CST – Updated January 13 at 5:18 PM
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – As if the black and gold’s winning season wasn’t enough, a Saints fan is giving “Who Dats” a good name after he saved a man’s life with his Saints hoodie and a ballpoint pen last month.
You’ve likely seen it in the movies — someone performing a tracheotomy or treating a collapsed lung with a ballpoint pen. But 20-year-old Sgt. Trey Troney recently pulled it off in real life and wouldn’t you know, he’s a Saints fan.
“I’ve gotten so much Saint stuff in the mail, but all three of my buddies, we’re all wearing brand new Saints jerseys right now,” Troney said.
His story, now garnering national attention, all started when the Fort Bliss stationed soldier stopped at a nasty crash near Sweetwater, Texas on his way home to Mississippi from El Paso. While most drove around the crash, the army sergeant wanted to see if he could help.
“I noticed the driver of the truck was laid over the steering wheel and there was a lot of blood on the dash,” Troney said.
A few bystanders helped Troney pry the door open and cut the airbag.
“I got them out of the truck and I told him, ‘Look, I’m military. I can help you. Do you mind if I help you?'”
In true football, fanatic fashion, the dying man made a crack about the “Salute to Service” Saints hoodie Troney was wearing.
“’Saints hoodie in Cowboy country? I don’t know how I feel.’ ‘Well, it’s a 50-50 chance that we’re going to do something good because I don’t think you’re going to make it,’” Troney recalled.
Troney shed his hoodie and tied it around the man’s head in an effort to stop the bleeding. He found a first-aid kit in his Jeep, but the tool for the job wouldn’t work, so he went to Plan B.
“I had an ink pen. I tore the tip off of the ink pen, I tore the other end off, and I pulled out the ink so it was just a clear tube, just a hollow clear tube. I put my finger in the hole and I just started wiggling it in between his ribs,” Troney said. “I pushed it just close enough to the lung and I felt the air release. He started breathing.”
LSU emergency medicine doctor James Aiken said Troney’s quick thinking made all the difference.
“When he did that, it allowed his heart to expand again, [and] keep beating until they could get him to the trauma center,” Aiken said.
Aiken has no doubt the man would’ve died had Troney not stepped in.
“It was one of the most remarkable saves I’ve read about, but when I saw he was an Army medic, I was not surprised,” Aiken.
Troney does a lot of training, and said life-saving techniques become muscle memory. Yet, it wasn’t just skill. Doctors say Troney had to first recognize the man’s injuries and know what to do, then remain calm, despite immense pressure, in order to execute.
“It’s not that you’re just well-trained. They have the mentality to look at what needs to be done, they keep a clear head and they do it correctly,”Aiken said.
Troney said when he saw the man’s condition, he knew he had to act.
“It was just kind of crazy. One of those things where you just kind of react,” Troney said.“If I don’t do it, he’s going to die. If I do it wrong, he’s going to die. If I do it right, he’s going to live. It was a chance I had to take.”
Since the save, Troney has been inundated with gifts and praise.
“The Pentagon was calling me, then the NFL called me and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in going to a Super Bowl?’ Then the New Orleans Saints reached out,” Troney said.
But more than the gifts, Troney is using his new, self-proclaimed position as Army poster child to send a message.
“Help somebody. Ask somebody if they need help,” he said. “You don’t have to spend millions of dollars to help somebody. You don’t have to spend thousands. You don’t have to give them the shirt off your back. I did in this situation. Luckily for him, he needed an ink pen into the ribs. I had an ink pen.”