Food allergies are no joke, as this heroic eighth grader found out when a friend stopped breathing after eating French fries.
Thankfully, due to his ability to quickly assess the situation and respond appropriately, he saved his friend’s life.
Timothy Sullivan has been heralded a hero following his quick thinking during a recent field trip to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. During the trip, the Bird Middle School students had lunch, when Timothy’s classmate, Haidar Faraj, suffered a severe allergic reaction after eating French fries.
The fries had been cooked in peanut oil, and with a serious allergy to nuts, Haidar broke out in hives and had difficulty breathing.
While other students didn’t know what to do for Haidar, Timothy sprang to action to administer the EpiPen that Haidar carries with him, but didn’t know how to use.
Haider explained, “We went to go use the EpiPen, but I didn’t know how to use it. So one classmate offered to help… She tried it, but it didn’t work at first. So then that’s when T Sully came in, and he helped me out.”
Thankfully, Timothy had learned how to use the EpiPen while at Brantwood summer camp. Grabbing the pen, he explained to Boston 25 News: “I took it. I said, ‘Haidar, are you ready?’ I said, ‘One, two, three,’ and I stabbed it into him.”
Another student captured the life-saving effort on video, with Timothy injecting the EpiPen into the student’s thigh.
Timothy noted, “I told him to come sit down, give your leg a rest, where he got stabbed, and I went to go get some security guards.”
The student was taken to the hospital and was able to return home a couple of hours later.
Timothy received an honor for his bravery, with Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael explaining, “He’s an amazing teenager, as you can see, and we’re very proud of him. He literally helped save that boy’s life. And you know, that in and of itself, that is the definition of a hero. And that’s a special young man.”
Timothy said of receiving the honor: “I thought I was in trouble when he handed it to me,” adding, “I honestly got proud of myself. It was honestly pretty cool to receive it.”
Haidar is forever grateful for his friend’s actions, noting: “It felt good that someone was there that knew how to use the EpiPen, and I was relieved when I knew that it worked.”
He added, “He saved my life. So it’s a good thing that he was recognized for that.”
Those who weighed in on the report at AllergyLifestyle.com’s Facebook page noted “Amazing friend” and “True friend – well done! Deserves his award.”
Another explained the dangers lurking for those with nut allergies, commenting: “Peanut oil is fine. The problem comes when it hasn’t been properly refined, meaning small amounts of the proteins people react to are left in the oil. I’ve never had a problem with it, but maybe in Europe the standard it is refined to is better than the US?”