My name is Avner Ben David, and I learned this week that there is nothing better than helping to bring a new life into the world in the middle of your workday, especially when that workday is your own birthday as well. That is exactly what happened to me this past New Year’s Day.
I was in the middle of a meeting with two other people in the Bursa, Israel’s busy business district in the middle of Ramat Gan, discussing a project we are working on together for the military. Suddenly, my phone application alerted me to a medical emergency in my vicinity – a woman who was having a baby. I looked closer at the street address and realized that the emergency was taking place very close to my location. I apologized to the people I was meeting with and told them that I had to go and help the woman in active labor nearby. I got on my ambucycle and raced over.
When I arrived, the woman had already gone into labor and the baby was nearly on the way. I stopped the motorcycle, grabbed my medical kit and approached her immediately. I didn’t even turn off the ambucycle. Someone had already helped the woman down to the ground prior to my arrival. I cut away clothing that was an obstruction to a safe delivery so that the baby wouldn’t get caught in them or worse. a
As I paused to put on sterile medical gloves, another United Hatzalah volunteer arrived. He assisted as the woman gave birth to a girl. The baby wasn’t crying but she was breathing well and passed the APGAR test used to quickly assess the health of a newborn. I attached two clips to the umbilical cord and made the cut. The other volunteer wrapped up the baby and brought her back to her mother, whom I was finishing up treating.
When the ambulance arrived, we helped the mother and her new daughter get into the ambulance and head to the hospital for further care and observation. When I headed back to the office to continue my meeting, it struck me as unlikely that I should be called upon to deliver a baby on that day – New Year’s Day as well as my birthday. I suppose that day marked a new beginning in many different ways.