Med student from Md. aids victim of bombing in Israel 'You're a doctor. This is what you do,' but he doubts woman lived

March 22, 1997|By Ann LoLordo | Ann LoLordo,SUN FOREIGN STAFF

TEL AVIV -- In the wreckage of the bombed Apropos Coffee House, Baltimorean Guy Salomon saw a dark figure in the corner, a woman lying unconscious with a severed forearm.

From that moment on, the 25-year-old medical school student focused on little else.

He rushed to her side, his mind racing through the ABCs of treating a victim of trauma.

Airway, is hers clear? Breathing? Circulation, does she have a pulse?

Yes, yes and yes. Then, he turned toward the woman's head wound.

"I found some fabric under a bunch of wood that I took and tore" and pressed it to her head like a makeshift bandage, said Salomon, a fourth-year student at Tel Aviv University's medical school who was raised in Pikesville.

Salomon had been bicycle-riding with a friend and just pedaled past the Apropos when a terrorist bomb exploded in the cafe's outdoor garden. He turned back, ditched his bike, hopped over the cafe's fence and got to work.

In the wreckage of the cafe, four people were dead and 46 wounded.

Kneeling beside the unconscious woman, Salomon heard someone yell something about a second bomb.

He called out to another man to come and help him: "We have to carry her out of here now."

He and two others struggled to carry the woman to the street. The medics on the scene were moving fast. A doctor hurried over.

Salomon helped slide a tube down the woman's throat to ensure that her airway stayed open so she could breathe.

They fixed her badly injured arm to a board. Then an intravenous line went into her other arm.

"Her eyes were fluttering," recalled Salomon, a graduate of the Park School in Brooklandville.

Medics loaded the woman into an ambulance. Salomon, his arms and legs, his shorts and T-shirt covered in blood, climbed in, too.

As the ambulance raced to Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital, Salomon held the woman's intravenous line in place.

He stayed with the woman as she entered the hospital, where he had trained in surgery last summer. He explained her injuries to a surgeon in the trauma center.

And, when he had a free moment, he called his girlfriend and his mother, Chava Salomon, back in Pikesville, "so she wouldn't worry."

His mother telephoned his father, Dr. Joseph Salomon, to tell him their son was fine.

But Salomon didn't leave the hospital quite yet. He returned to the emergency room, where he discovered a cut on his hand. The staff admitted him.

"Go lie down in bed," Salomon said he was told. "You are full of blood."

Salomon was anxious to leave. Journalists swarmed through the emergency room. "There are a million people who did 10 times more than me," he told the reporters eager to interview him.

The cut on his hand took two stitches. Soon he was on his way. He got to his car and drove home to Netanya, a seaside town north of Tel Aviv.

Reflecting on his part in the tragic events of the day, Salomon said in a telephone interview, "I just didn't think. I go to medical school. You're a doctor and this is what you do."

Salomon never learned the name of the injured woman. He only knew her as "Number 15," her place on the list of those being treated.

But he came to learn the critical nature of her injuries -- severe internal bleeding.

"I heard on the radio someone died," he said last night from his home. "I'm sure it was her."

Pub Date: 3/22/97

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