Timothy, who goes by “T,” was at a local amusement park on his eighth-grade field trip when his friend Haidar Faraj broke out in hives all over his body.
Haidar, who has a severe peanut allergy, realized the french fries he had just eaten must have been cooked in peanut oil. His face swelled, and he started feeling shaky and struggling to breathe.
Fortunately, Haidar had an auto-injector, which is a syringe-like device that delivers a dose of a lifesaving medicine called epinephrine to someone who’s having an allergic reaction. Haidar wasn’t able to use the injector himself, so he gave it to a classmate, but she couldn’t get it to work.
T, who had learned how to use an auto-injector at summer camp, could see that she wasn’t using the injector the right way.
“The cap wasn’t off,” T recalls. “So I said, ‘Give it to me.’ I counted to three, and I stabbed it into Haidar’s thigh.”
Within minutes, Haidar started to feel better and breathe normally. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but he was totally fine, thanks to T’s quick thinking.
T says he’s glad he paid attention during the first aid session at summer camp.
“Like a lot of teens, I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll never need to use this,’” he says. “But you never know what kinds of situations you’ll find yourself in. I was so happy that I knew what to do.”