On Monday morning, a young girl in the neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh suffered an allergic reaction while at daycare. Her mother was alerted and picked the girl up and took her home. The girl is known to have a severe allergy to several foods and all the proper care was taken by the staff to prevent exposure. The mother took the child home to provide care for her when her symptoms suddenly developed into a full-blown anaphylactic reaction. The worried mother called emergency services for help.
Keren Foster was at home cooking food for her children who were scheduled to return home from school shortly, when she received the alert notifying her of the emergency taking place near her location. Without wasting a moment, Keren turned off the stove and rushed over to the given address, just a few short blocks from her home. Keren arrived at the address just 90 seconds later and ran up the stairs into the apartment where she found the panicking mother holding her young daughter.
“The girl looked like she had a very severe reaction that was affecting both her skin and her breathing,” Keren said after the incident was over. “The girl had a bad rash and was very swollen, especially around the mouth. She was alert but lethargic. As I was pulling out an EpiPen from my kit, the mother showed me that she had a number of them inside the house and gave me one to use. I injected the girl with the EpiPen provided and the girl’s situation began to stabilize. The mother, however, needed a lot of help to calm down after such a stressful incident.”
Just after Keren administered the EpiPen, an EMT in training, Sarah Bibi rushed in, followed by EMTs Shmuel Rozenberg and Daniella Smadja also arrived and assisted in helping to calm the mother by letting her know that her daughter was stable and that the danger had passed.
“It’s a really amazing feeling to be able to help save a life,” Keren continued. “It’s not just about saving lives, but being there for the family as well. Whenever I respond to a medical emergency I remind myself that I am primarily there to help the patient, but I am also looking to help the family of the patient that is suffering emotional turmoil. That is an important element of the work we do as well.”
An ambulance team arrived a short time later and the mother and daughter were taken to the hospital for definitive care.
Keren concluded by saying, “It is my greatest joy and hope to help people and to be able to save lives. This is what we do best and it is what all of us volunteer first responders love doing.”