2012-08-23 / People

Randolph Woman Saves Man from Bee Attack

By Sandy Vondrasek


Nineteen-year-old Leah Scully at the pool with her cousin. Scully saved a man’s life, who was asphyxiating due to a bad reaction to bee stings. (Provided) Nineteen-year-old Leah Scully at the pool with her cousin. Scully saved a man’s life, who was asphyxiating due to a bad reaction to bee stings. (Provided) Leah Scully, 19, of Randolph saved a man’s life last Friday morning. But she doesn’t even know his name.

Scully, a nursing student at Norwich University in Northfield, was heading to her summer job at Montague Golf Club on August 17, when she noticed a hardhat lying on the road. She lives with her parents, Bob and Alison Scully.

Scully thought it was “odd” that a helmet was on the road near a parked pickup, but initially decided, “It’s not my business,” she told The Herald this week.

But, then, Scully stopped her car a little further down the road, debated with herself, and decided to make sure everything was all right.

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong and that I needed to check it out,” she explained this week.

Once out of her car, Scully heard a weed whacker, still running near the roadside. Then she saw a man with a swollen face who was “gasping” for air, lying in some tall grasses about 10 feet away. She walked toward the man, who managed to say, “Bees, attack.” Scully, who could hear some buzzing, lifted up his shirt and brushed off the bees underneath.

He pointed to his truck and Scully ran to it, “somehow making the connection that he might have an ‘EpiPen’ there.” These “autoand injectors” deliver a quick shot of epinephrine, and people who suffer from extreme allergic reactions generally keep one at hand at all times.

Scully said she tore open the toolbox she found inside the truck, scattering its contents in her frantic search for the EpiPen.

It should be noted that Scully is just one year into her nursing training and has never before used one of these emergency injectors. However, her mother is a nurse, and Leah said she had learned something about using them a few years ago, when the two of them were readying for a mission trip to Guatemala.

She located the EpiPen in its bright yellow package, and raced back to the man. By that time, she said, he was not breathing: “I realized I had to do it fast—there was no time to think about it.”

She stuck him in the thigh with the device.

“Literally, within 10 to 20 seconds, I could hear his airway opening,” she recalled.

And, within minutes, the swelling on his face started to go down— enough so she could see his eyes.

“He said I was his angel,” Scully reported.

They spoke briefly, and after she was sure the man was on his way to recovery, Scully continued on to work, where she kept pretty quiet about what had happened. The Herald heard about Scully’s life-saving actions through a thirdhand report early this week. When we tracked her down Tuesday morning at Montague—she works in the clubhouse wherever needed, she said, the kitchen, dining room or pro shop—she was initially reluctant to tell the story.

Scully explained that she never learned the man’s name. And, she explained that she felt that her extraordinary experience—“a God thing”—was one that was better left just as it was.

“I don’t want the attention to be on me,” she explained, “but to show how blessed I am to have been in that situation and have had my mother show me how to handle sometimes stressful situations.”

She relented, with some persuasion: We pointed out that the story might inspire others, and perhaps the man whose life she saved wanted to know who she was.

Scully said she hopes her story “encourages others to take notice when something is out of the ordinary.”

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