United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Sophie Donio who works and lives in the southern city Eilat, rescued an older woman on Sunday after the woman lost control of her mobility scooter and crashed on a major thoroughfare in the city. The woman had crashed into a metal handrail on the side of the road and sustained severe facial injuries when her head hit the railing.
Sophie was getting ready for a work meeting when she received the alert notifying her to the emergency. Understanding that she would be late for her meeting, Sophie jumped on her ambucycle and raced to the parallel street, locating the woman in just under a minute.
Sophie found the elderly woman, who had already gotten up from the ground, leaning on her scooter with facial injuries. When Sophie asked the woman what had happened, the woman could not speak since her dentures had fallen from the force of impact.
After a quick check of vitals and seeing that the woman was safe and her injuries were mild, Sophie stayed with the woman, reassuring her, until the ambulance arrived five minutes later.
Sophie had previously gained some renown a few years back for being the organization’s first-ever woman to ride an ambulcycle. She works as a Marine psychologist at the Dolphin Reef in Eilat.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and closure of both educational and tourism programs, Sophie has been away from the Dolphin Reef. This allowed her to start instructing a bicycle riding course for visually impaired people in Eilat. Sophie is a single mother of two teenage boys, who support and idolize her work as an EMT.
“I always had a burning passion to help,” said Sophie. “Since the reef had been closed, I found every opportunity to volunteer. I started the blind bike riding course and volunteered with children, and of course, I had the opportunity to respond to many medical emergencies. When I finally had the meeting with a health organization about the work that I do at the reef, I was beyond excited to get back to work. But even that had to stay on hold, because when my communications device goes off, I know I have to go and help whoever is in trouble, no matter the circumstances.”
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