• By Deena Hornstein 

Mohammed Gnaiem works as a nurse in Loewenstein Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Ra’anana, and is a very active United Hatzalah volunteer EMT. This past Saturday was Mohammed’s wedding anniversary and he was planning to go out with his wife that night to celebrate. Mohammed was getting ready for his night out and went to take a shower. Just as he was stepping in, the emergency app on his United Hatzalah communications device started to sound.

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Mohammed Gnaiem with his emergency e-bike

Mohammed read the alert and saw that an adult male in his vicinity was not feeling well. Despite the vagueness of call, and the incredibly inconvenient timing, Mohammed jumped out of the shower, threw on his clothing, and apologized to his wife as he rushed outside to his emergency E-bike. He quickly put on his Covid-19 protective suit, hopped on the bike and sped off to the scene.

Less than five minutes later Mohammed was kneeling next to the man who was semi conscious., Mohammed took the man’s vital signs and gathered information from his concerned children about their father’s medical history. The family members explained to Mohammed that their 90-year-old father had hardly eaten or drunk anything in the last few days and a short while before they called for help, their father had stopped responding to his environment.

Mohammed noticed that the elderly man’s blood oxygen level was low and that he showed signs of dehydration and had a mild fever. Due to the patient’s symptoms, Mohammed was worried that the man might have had Covid-19 Coronavirus, but that didn’t stop him from treating his patient. Mohammed removed the oxygen tank from his medical bag and administered high-flow oxygen and started an IV to replenish the man’s essential fluids. In an effort to help the man regain full consciousness Mohammed spoke gently to the elderly man, and just a few minutes later the man was alert and conversing with Mohammed.

When the ambulance arrived about 10 minutes later, the United Hatzalah volunteer briefed the crew and handed over a treated patient who was now stable and prepped for immediate transport. The family thanked Mohammed and promised him that they would inform him immediately of the outcome of their father’s Covid-19 test.

Mohammed returned home and jumped back into the shower. Because of his close contact with a possible COVID-19 patient, he informed his wife that the evening’s anniversary celebration would have to be postponed until he received an answer from the family of the elderly man. His wife was a little disappointed but at the same time understanding and proud of her devoted husband.

At 3:45 AM, the elderly man’s son texted Mohammed that his father had tested negative for Covid-19. Mohammed didn’t wake his wife up at that unearthly hour, but rather waited until the morning to tell her the good news and that they could go out that evening to celebrate.

“My wife and I were both disappointed that we had to cancel our anniversary plans, but we were both happy to hear that the next evening we could go out and celebrate. Although it came at the cost of postponing my anniversary celebration I’m glad I saved the elderly man’s life and am glad he did not test positive for Covid-19”

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