United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Fyza Djuma who lives in the Bedouin town of Arab al-Aramshe on Israel’s northern border was called on Wednesday to assist in a different type of medical emergency. He was called to help birth a sheep.
“My friend raises sheep,” recounted Fyza, who has been a United Hatzalah volunteer for more than two years. “One of his ewes was due to give birth and went into labor early in the morning. He called the veterinarian who usually assists him in these instances but the veterinarian didn’t answer the phone. My friend then called me and asked if I could come and help.”
Fyza has never helped birth an animal before and has only helped deliver a human baby a handful of times. “I rushed over to see what I could do and it was clear that the sheep was having difficulty with the birthing process. I thought to myself, what are the procedures we do for a regular birth and I tried to use those to guide me. I reached inside the ewe and felt that the lamb was turned sideways. I gently attempted to turn the lamb towards me and helped get it into the right position.”
Fyza said that his friend was very worried but glad that he was at the scene. “It was a tense moment for my friend who cares for his flock. I was able to help the lamb get into what seemed to me like the proper position and ease it out of its mother. Then I reached back in to try to make sure everything was okay and I felt something else inside that didn’t seem right. It felt like a hoof. I told my friend, “There is another lamb coming”. A few minutes later a second lamb was born. After the birth, we cleaned and cared for the ewe and the lambs, drying them and making sure that they began to suckle.”
Fyza said that this was not something he ever thought he would do and that his training helped him in the moments that mattered. “I relied on my EMT training to help my friend and his lambs. It goes to show you never know when it will come in handy. I encourage everyone to train to become an EMT and to join United Hatzalah. It is an organization that goes far beyond lifesaving it builds friendships and families and has been one of the greatest things I have ever done.”
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