YSU student visiting Paris is safe, contacted parents

Nathan Gelfand, a YSU student studying abroad, was in Paris when it was attacked on Friday night.
Nathan Gelfand, a YSU student studying abroad, was in Paris when it was attacked on Friday night.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The parents of a Youngstown State University student who’s studying abroad are happy their son is safe tonight.

Nathan Gelfand was visiting Paris for the weekend and happened to be there as the city was under attack.

“Be careful because it’s a big city. Although, he’s a well-traveled young man. He’s been to Europe a number of times.”

Michael Gelfand gave that advice to his 22-year-old son before his trip to Paris on Friday morning.

Then, the unimaginable happened. News broke that the city was under attack.

Photos: Paris attacks

Michael and Amy immediately thought about their only son, Nathan.

Within minutes, he texted them saying, “I’m in a restaurant several blocks from where one of the biggest attacks is occurring. The owners of the restaurant put big chains on the door and locked everybody inside so nobody could get in.”

“We hoped he was safe. We didn’t have a lot of information.”

Surrounded by explosions and gun shots, Nathan was safe.

He texted his parents again on Saturday, but worried he wouldn’t make it back to Italy, where he is studying abroad, by Sunday. That’s because officials aren’t letting people leave the city.

Amy says this trip is one to remember.

“Hopefully it will make him even more vigilant when he’s traveling. Just be careful, always watch around him. I’m sure this is going to be an event that will always have a huge impression on him.”

With 129 people killed and 352 injured, the Gelfand’s consider themselves lucky.

“He’s a lucky one. All the families that have lost kids and relatives, it’s horrific,” Michael said.

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