On Tuesday night, a 7-month-old baby girl drowned in a water bucket at her home in the Bedouin town of Lakiya in the Negev. Her parents brought her to the local HMO clinic, where a doctor immediately alerted emergency services.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Same Abu Ayish, a resident of Lakiya, was visiting a friend who had recently undergone surgery when he received the alert notifying him about the emergency unfolding at the local clinic, where he himself works as a nurse. Apologizing to his friend, Same ran to his car and raced to the clinic.

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Same Abu Ayish

Upon entering the premises, the first responder had to make his way through the hysterical crowd surrounding the infant, behind which he found one of the clinic’s doctors performing CPR on the pulseless baby. Same took over at the doctor’s request, performing compressions with his two fingers on the baby’s frail chest. The pair attached a defibrillator, which did not recommend administering a shock, and while continuing compressions, provided assisted ventilation in order to provide the baby with oxygen.

Five minutes into the resuscitation effort, the baby regained a pulse and some level of consciousness. “Although five minutes sounds like a relatively short amount of time, when you’re fighting to save the life of a baby in front of the family, it feels like an eternity. My sense of time in these instances is completely different,” Same recalled after the incident. Several minutes later, an intensive care ambulance arrived and evacuated the infant to Soroka Medical Center for further care and treatment.

“The feeling of saving a baby’s life is impossible to describe, it’s a source of tremendous satisfaction,” Same added. “I am incredibly thankful and proud to be part of an organization like United Hatzalah, which provides me with the information, training, and equipment, that I need in order to save lives like the one from today.”

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