MARYSVILLE – Will Jallang has been a standout player for Marysville Getchell’s High School basketball team the past few years.
So imagine the shock when his mom, Nyabuony “Nya” Palek, was part of a team of heroes who saved his life when Jallang suffered a heart attack April 8. He has since recovered. He actually has been cleared to play basketball for Everett Community College next year.
But that doesn’t make that night any less tramatic for Palek, who is a nurse.
Just after 11 p.m., she heard a loud noise in the bedroom of her 18-year-old son and found him unresponsive on the floor.
Jallang’s heart had stopped. Palek called 9-1-1.
“My skills as a nurse left me that night,” Palek said. “I was just a mother.”
Snohomish County 9-1-1 dispatcher John Chenoweth coached Palek through performing CPR on her son during the crucial minutes before first responders arrived. Marysville firefighters, Marysville police, and Getchell Fire District 22 firefighters moved Jallang to an open area where Marysville paramedics delivered life-saving treatment.
Jallang was transported to a hospital. On June 19, Palek was reunited with the first responders who helped save her son’s life in an emotional award presentation at the Marysville Fire District Board of Director’s meeting. “You saved my boy,” Palek said as she thanked emergency responders. “It wasn’t me. It was you.”
Palek received the Phoenix Award in honor of her own actions that night. Marysville Fire Chief Martin McFalls presented the Phoenix Award to: Chenoweth; Battalion Chief Aaron Soper; Capt. Basil Bailey; firefighters/paramedics Hunter Day and Trevor Trueax; firefighters Susan Carver and Mikael Fox-Ramey; Getchell firefighters Evan Smith, Nicholas Lathrop and Costas Thomkins-Zweekhorst; police officer Franklin Nelson; and police Sgt. Peter Shove.