By Kara Pendleton
January 13, 2019 at 7:02pm
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Stories from soldiers abroad are filled with examples of their creativity being used to fulfill a need.
Now we have yet another example of a soldier improvising when a need arose. And he saved a life by doing so.
According to the Army Times, it all began when Sgt. Trey Troney, a 20-year-old non-commissioned officer, was on his way home from Fort Bliss, Texas. He was on a holiday break and headed for Raleigh, Mississippi when he came across the scene of an accident.
He was in Sweetwater, Texas when he spotted the crashed truck on the side of the road. The driver, Jeff Udger, was “slumped over the steering wheel.” Two other men stopped to help and they got straight to work helping Troney pry open the driver’s side door.
According to the Fort Bliss Bugle, Troney saw that Udger was in trouble and acted quickly to help him. “I was in a pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt on the side of a highway and somebody’s life depended on me slightly knowing a little bit (about emergency medical care). It wasn’t anything crazy (that I knew), but to (Udger), it was his world.”
Udger had a head wound, so Troney took off his brand new “Salute to Service” Saints hoodie. He then wrapped it around Udger’s head in order to help stop the bleeding.
Udger, who was still conscious, joked with Troney about the choice of “bandage.” “Well, this is Cowboy country, so I don’t know how I feel about you wrapping me up in a Saints hoodie.”
Udger was not out of danger, though. Troney spotted another problem.
He saw that the man’s chest was not moving on the left side. He realized then that Udger’s lung had collapsed.
Fortunately, his brigade recently did a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. He looked for any leftover medical supplies from that in his Jeep and found some.
He spotted a “Needle Chest Compression, or NCD, and an Individual First Aid Kit, or IFAK” in his vehicle. He grabbed them and raced back to Udger’s side.
And this is where another need for improvisation came in. He’d had sufficient training with the NCD to know what to do, almost without thinking. But, the NCD needle was too small.
He would not be able to access the collapsed lung in order to relieve the pressure. He had to think fast.
While seeking a solution to the problem he came across a ballpoint pen and inspiration hit. Troney explained what he did.
“I took the NCD and put it right in the hole and kind of wiggled (the pen) in with my hand in between the ribs and you just started to see the bubbles come out of the tip, and I was like, ‘OK, we’re good.’” A state trooper had just arrived at the scene and witnessed what happened.
Astonished, he asked Troney, “Did you just put an ink pen between his ribs?” Troney admitted that he did and the surprised trooper remarked that Udger was not on any pain medications during the procedure.
Troney replied, “oh, he felt it, but he’s unconscious. He lost consciousness as I was running back to my Jeep because he had lost a lot of blood.”
An ambulance arrived about 10 minutes later. The paramedics believe Troney saved Udger’s life.
The state trooper, who witnessed Troney’s actions, treated the young Sgt. to some food at a truck stop that was close by. But Troney was worried.
In this day and age of litigiousness, he was concerned that Udger might sue him. But Udger proved not to be that kind of man.
He was very grateful for all Troney did to save him. The Fort Bliss Bugle wrote that the man was so grateful that he made sure everyone knew about what Troney did for him, as soon as he was able to.
He started “contacting government officials, the media and Troney’s chain of command – all the way up to his brigade commander, Col. Michael Trotter – and telling them how thankful he is for Troney’s actions.” He explained in an email how amazed he was by what Troney did.
He wrote, in part, “In an urgent situation (Troney) showed amazing patience and continuous care. He kept talking to me and acted as if the situation was no pressure at all.”
Troney had left his email address with Udger, so Udger used it to contact him. He offered to replace the hoodie but Troney wasn’t worried about it and said a replacement was not necessary.
Udger had something else to say to the young man, as well. “Young man, you will always be my hero.”
“Continue to give back to this world and the people in it. You truly will never know when you will make a life-changing impact to someone.”
Troney has credited that on-the-spot ingenuity he showed for the happy ending. “You’re just there and you might have what they need.”
“He needed an ink pen to the ribs. Luckily I had an ink pen.”
This amazing young man, a solider, saved a man’s life here at home. You won’t see that story run by establishment media.