Gal is a United Hatzalah volunteer from Or HaGanuz, a town in northern Israel. On Thursday afternoon, Gal and his 15-year-old son went out for sushi in a Netanya mall. From across the restaurant, Gal noticed a few kids running around when one of them suddenly stopped and seemed still. Gal quickly walked over and found the child barely breathing. The 5-year-old’s mother explained to Gal that the child has a history of asthma and that this was not his first attack. After the mother demonstrated that the scene was under control, Gal returned to his son.
“My son is severely allergic to peanuts,” recounted Gal. “He has two EpiPens, one of which he carries with him constantly. One of the EpiPens had been misplaced and so we decided to go to the mall clinic to get a prescription for another pen. After finishing our sushi, we walked around for a while before heading up to the fifth floor, where the clinic is based.”
Upon leaving the elevator, Gal was confronted by a panicked commotion. The five-year-old boy he saw at the sushi restaurant was now unconscious, barely breathing and beginning to convulse. Gal was at his side in an instant, assessing the situation. Suspecting an anaphylactic reaction, Gal asked the mother if her son was allergic to anything. She replied that while there was an apparent sensitivity, they were still in the process of discovering the nature of his allergies.
There was no oxygen or EpiPens to be found in the clinic and Gal knew that the child’s life was in danger. Gal’s son handed his father his EpiPen and with the approval of the clinic doctor, the EMT injected the lifesaving adrenaline into the child’s thigh. Within moments, the swelling and hives disappeared and the boy began to breathe again. He returned to consciousness and started to cry. The mother held her child close and hugged him tightly, crying along with him. It was unbelievable to see the limp, blue little body return to life.
Fifteen minutes later, an ambulance crew arrived and the boy was transported to the hospital for further assessment and observation. Later, the family sought out the identity of their angel in orange and phoned Gal to express their heartfelt thanks. Doctors at the hospital had told the family that if not for Gal’s intervention, the little boy would have died as he would not have made it another 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The doctors added that from what they could tell, the boy’s organs had already begun to shut down when Gal administered the Epipen and that this had saved him in the nick of time.
“My son almost died two years ago when he suffered an intense allergic reaction,” said Gal. “He was completely blue and not breathing. I saved his life by administering an EpiPen. Now, his EpiPen saved another child’s life. The mother told me on Friday when she reached out that Thursday, the day the incident occurred, was her own birthday. She said that I gave her the best birthday gift, her son’s life.”
To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah volunteers such as Gal, please click here: