Teen Gets Hero Award for Quick-Thinking During Friend’s Allergic Reaction

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in Food Allergy, News, Peanut & Tree Nut
Published: June 23, 2017
Timothy Sullivan, middle, presented with the Community Hero award.

A Massachusetts teenager is being hailed a hero for his quick-thinking in administering an epinephrine auto-injector to a friend who has having a severe allergic reaction.

Timothy Sullivan was presented with a community hero award by the Walpole, Mass. Police Department for stepping up to assist his friend, Haidar Faraj, during a recent eighth grade school trip to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire.

According to a local news report, Haidar experienced symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction about 10 minutes after eating French fries, which turned out to have been cooked in peanut oil.

Haidar broke out in hives and soon was struggling to breathe. While the teen always carries an auto-injector because of allergies to peanuts and wheat, he admitted to not knowing how to use it.

After one classmate tried to help unsuccessfully, Timothy took action. The teen says he depended on medical training he received at a summer camp last year, where he practiced using an auto-injector.

“I took it. I said, ‘Haidar, are you ready?’ I said, ‘One, two, three,’ and I stabbed it into him,” Timothy told the news station. “I told him to come sit down, give your leg a rest, and I went to go get some security guards.”

“He saved my life,” Haidar said of Timothy, who both attend Bird Middle School in Walpole.

Chief John Carmichael of the Walpole Police Department, who presented Timothy with the hero award, commended him on his actions. “He’s an amazing young man who stayed calm during a life-threatening crisis,” he said.