Dana Attias is a single mother of three. She works as a beautician at her own company and volunteers as a United Hatzalah EMT.
One night last week at 2:00 am, Dana was jarred awake by her United Hatzalah communications device. A child was convulsing in a nearby building. Dana jumped out of bed, and raced over to the address. Although the home was tucked away on a small side street, Dana, as a resident of the neighborhood, knew the area well and found the building immediately.
The worried mother of the convulsing child met Dana halfway down the stairs, on the way to meet the arriving EMT. She was crying hysterically. “My son is dying,” she choked out, leading Dana up the stairs and over to her son’s room.
The 9-year-old boy was thrashing wildly in uncontrollable convulsions. Dana recognized him as he was, in fact, a friend of her own son. Dana quickly turned to the mother, who was hyperventilating, pale as a sheet and looked close to fainting. “Your son is seizing. He’s not in imminent danger. This is relatively common. There have been three incidents of convulsions in the area just this last month,” Dana assured her. She told the parents that for the moment it was important to protect the child from hurting himself and that soon the convulsions would pass. Greatly relieved by Dana’s caring, authoritative words, the agitated mother began to calm down.
The experienced medic protected the young boy and ensured an open airway as she asked the parents if the child had been sick recently. A few moments later, the intense seizures subsided and the boy slowly began to return to himself. He looked at Dana, confused and frightened. “I’m Ohr’s mom,” Dana told him gently, “Everything’s okay.”
Meanwhile, another United Hatzalah medic arrived and Dana sent him to the entrance of the building to direct the arriving ambulance. Soon enough, the child was on the way to the hospital for evaluation and definitive care while Dana returned home to catch some sleep. She later heard that the little boy was diagnosed with epilepsy and was prescribed medication to control his condition.
Dana’s prompt arrival, caring intervention and calming manner made all the difference to these people in their time of crisis.