She looked down to see a viper–Israel’s deadliest snake–and knew it had bitten her. As the ambulance began to climb a hill, it stalled. Minutes mattered at this point, and no one could explain why the ambulance wouldn’t start. The paramedics continued to fight to keep her alive.
“Ayal! Wake up!” My pleading and shaking did nothing to stir him until the first explosion hit. Instantly, Ayal bolted from his bed and ran to Shani’s room—as it was our designated “safe room”—and threw on his protective gas mask and suit. Then the six of us—plus the family dog—sat in the bedroom waiting for the promised instructions that would come on radio and TV if we were attacked.