Cuyahoga Falls: Man owes his life to Summa nurse

6:48 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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CUYAHOGA FALLS -- He looks like the picture of health now but two months ago, David Melchioris nearly took his last breath at Keyser Park.

He was there with his sons for their elementary school cross-country practice. He ran a lap with one and was on his way to see the other when he collapsed.

For the last year, he'd been watching his diet and exercising because of his high blood pressure and cholesterol. He also knew he had a family history of heart disease. But he never thought his heart would stop in the middle of the woods.

Lucky for him, Summa Health System Emergency Nurse Daniella Strausser just happened to go for a practice run with her daughter. 

She wasn't even supposed to be there. Her friend was going to take her daughter to practice but, at the last minute, plans changed. Then Daniella couldn't find the park and got lost. She arrived fifteen minutes late and she and her daughter just started running. That's when she found David lifeless on the trail.

She recognized him because their kids went to school together. She also recognized that he was going to die without her help.

"Right away, I jumped into nurse mode, checked for a pulse. He didn't have one and I started doing CPR. I just wanted to do what I knew I could do to help him," Daniella says.

She yelled for other parents to call 9-1-1 and a retired firefighter arrived to help her with the CPR. 

David ended up needing quadruple-bypass surgery at Summa Akron City Hospital.

"It's changed me. I do believe in miracles and I was meant to be here that afternoon," Daniella says.

"Of course, I'm here because of her," David said.

When asked if he believes in guardian angels, David replied, "I do now, well, no, I always did but it's good to see one."

This was actually the second time Daniella saved a life without the aid of the help in the emergency room. During nursing school, she saved someone from choking in a restaurant. 

A month later, another Summa nurse saved a man who had a heart attack during the Akron marathon.














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