Young Delivers In Life-or-Death Situation


WHEELING–I have always had the utmost respect for Mike Young.

Not just because he is a state championship football coach many times over at Wheeling Central. Moreover, he is a dedicated family man, passionate teacher and a pillar of the community.

My respect for him grew even more Sunday about 8 a.m. It was at that time Young stepped into the role of a hero. He helped to save a life.

Young and I both attend the 7:30 a.m. Mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Wheeling.

This past Sunday it proved to be no ordinary Mass.

The Maroon Knight head coach was situated three pews in front of me. In the pew directly in front of Young was an elderly man.

Halfway through the Mass, the man started to wobble and subsequently went down. With no hesitation, Young raced to the man, arriving before anyone else. He was later joined by a handful of people.

Young took charge in the life or death situation as a stunned congregation looked on. The Rev. William K. Matheny Jr., who was celebrating the Mass, even left the altar and came to anoint the man.

All the while, Young, a certified athletic trainer, exhibited his coaching prowess as he remained calm and focused in the heat of battle.

“The first sign something was wrong is that he had some type of seizure. He was out when I got there,” Young said. “So I quickly administered CPR. I think I may have broken some of his ribs.

“I gave him maybe 10-15 compressions and he began breathing again. We did not need the defibrillator,” he added. “When you take those CPR classes you hope you never will need them. I just feel blessed we could help him.”

The patient is doing remarkably well.

“I visited him in the hospital Sunday. He is doing well and may be released today (Monday). We were fortunate to have three doctors sitting around him. Mike’s immediate intervention with CPR made the difference,” Rev. Matheny said. “Once I realized he was in distress, I stopped Mass so I could anoint him. I could tell he was still alive so I kept going with the Mass until the EMTs arrived. I just played it by ear, praying that he’d make it.”

Young is no stranger to delivering CPR. Amazingly, Sunday was the fourth time he found himself pushing on someone’s chest in time of distress.

“The first time was a fraternity party back in the 70s. The next time was at a basketball game at St. John Arena in Steubenville and then at a football game in St. Clairsville,” Young said. “People might want to stop sitting close to me. I may be bad luck.”

The way I see it, it is quite the opposite.


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