Performing CPR Alone For 20 Minutes

At around 4:00 a.m. on Friday morning, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Monir Kawas was awakened by an alert to a medical emergency that was occurring nearby. An 83-year-old man had fallen down the stairs from a height of around one meter. He hit his head from the fall and landed unconscious on the floor. His son, who had heard the sounds of the fall and ran to see what had happened, immediately called emergency services for help.

 

Monir at the scene of a building fire

 

Monir Kawas is a Druze who lives in the town of Julis, located near Akko. He is an incredibly active volunteer and responds to many emergencies, both in his hometown of Julis as well as in the cities and highways located nearby.

 

Monir arrived at the elderly man’s house and rushed inside to help after only two minutes from receiving the call. The man’s son was performing CPR and stepped aside so Monir could take over, relieved that the experienced EMT came to the rescue. 

 

Monir checked the man for vitals and found none. The 83-year-old was lying unconscious, without a pulse, and was not breathing. Monir quickly connected his defibrillator and administered a shock.

 

After about 20 minutes of CPR, the Intensive Mobile Care ambulance arrived and the paramedics rushed in to take over from Monir, who was exhausted from his efforts. Monir stayed by the patient’s side for the next 40 minutes and assisted the paramedics until the team succeeded in restoring the man’s pulse to a strong and steady rhythm. They transferred the man into the ambulance and brought him to the Galilee Medical Center for further care.

 

Monir arrived back at his house, exhausted but happy and content that he helped save the man’s life. Monir’s 7-year-old daughter awoke and curiously asked him where he had been earlier. “When I explained to her that a man had fallen and hit his head, she told me she was so proud of me for helping him, especially since he was a stranger. The pride and encouragement from my wife and my children that I continually receive when I volunteer to help others makes me so happy.”

 

“The positive instances are when you save somebody’s life,” continued Monir, “That is the best feeling that a person can have. This, more than everything else, is why I am proud to be a part of United Hatzalah because it allows me to save lives and to do it with like-minded and good-hearted people.”

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