On Tuesday morning at around 8:00 a.m., a 40-year-old man suffered a heart attack in his home in the town of Katzir as he climbed out of bed. His family members found him unconscious on the floor by his bedside, blood trickling down from his head from the blow he received when he hit the floor. The man has a history of cardiological diseases so they immediately called emergency services to help.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Anwar Kabaha, who lives in the nearby Muslim town of Barta’a was alerted to the emergency by his communication device. He was in his home about to leave with his children and drop them off at school. After checking the location of the incident and seeing that it was only a 12-minute drive away, Anwar left his children at home, promising to be back soon, and raced to the rescue.
“I decided to run out because helping people is part of my nature. It’s something that’s incredibly important to me. Saving lives is always my priority, even if I am busy with something, I’ll always rush out to help. To me it doesn’t matter who the person is, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, we are all people and I will help anyone who needs my assistance regardless of who they are.”
When Anwar arrived 12 minutes later, he found a local paramedic already at the scene and treating the patient. He was limited with what he could do because he didn’t have his medical equipment on him. Anwar attached the defibrillator and oxygen mask from his medical kit and took over the CPR.
For more than 20 minutes, Anwar and the paramedic performed CPR on the unconscious man, administering 2 shocks from the defibrillator, but were still unsuccessful in restoring a pulse. The intensive care ambulance finally arrived and the paramedic and EMTs joined the CPR efforts. They administered medications to the patient in hopes of improving the situation, and Anwar assisted with the respirations.
After 50 minutes of CPR, the man’s pulse finally returned, and the EMTs continued the resuscitation process in order to stabilize the patient. The entire process took an hour and 10 minutes. “He retained a weak pulse, but it was a pulse nonetheless. It was enough to give us and the man’s family hope and made everyone really happy and excited that he was beginning to come through his ordeal. After an incredibly long resuscitation, it was a relief.”
“When it came to bringing the man outside to the ambulance, there were a few problems. We ended up having to break down part of a wall to have enough room to go outside. Then, all five of us EMTs and paramedics lifted him on a stretcher and brought him up the steep hill to where the ambulance was waiting. I was standing in front, with one hand holding up the stretcher and the other hand continuing to ventilate the patient. It was extremely difficult, especially after an intense hour of CPR, but thank G-d, He gave us the strength to do it.”
The patient was brought to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera for further treatment and Anwar went back to pick up his children and finally bring them to school. “My children are used to me rushing out to respond to medical emergencies, especially important ones where a life may be saved, so they didn’t mind waiting for me.”
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