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Giving the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Amir Hayek, is an I.T. specialist, a volunteer in a French Christian religious hospice called The Sacred Heart, or Sacre Coeur, and a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and ambucycle driver. Hayek, an Israeli Christian, chose to volunteer at the convent for the same reason he volunteers for United Hatzalah- he loves to help people. Both the convent and United Hatzlaha treat Muslim, Christian and Jewish people. The convent treats children with severe handicaps and United Hatzalah treats people suffering medical emergencies before an ambulance can arrive.
One day, Amir was at work when he received an alert to an unconscious child at the hospice. Amir’s workplace is very near to Sacre Coeur and Amir immediately dashed outside, jumped on his ambucycle, and sped over. Already familiar with the facility, Amir drove his ambucycle through the complex and was urgently directed to one of the physiotherapy rooms.
A physiotherapist was frantically performing compressions on a 13-year-old boy. Amir swiftly took over, administering expert chest compressions as another United Hatzalah EMT arrived to assist. The duo performed CPR until an ambulance crew joined the rescue effort. An IV line was set up and cardiac drugs provided. After 40 minutes of combined toil, the team succeeded in regaining cardiac activity, stable blood pressure, and independent breathing. Amir assisted in transferring the young patient onto a stretcher and he was rushed urgently to the hospital for further treatment.
“For me, being able to help this child was a great relief,” said Hayek. “I know him personally and I’ve played with him many times in the past. When I was called to do CPR at the hospice and I saw who I would be doing it on, I put all emotions aside and focused on the timing, consistency and depth of the compressions. I wanted it to be perfect in order to give him the best chances of survival possible.”
Hayek continued his recounting of the dramatic incident. “I almost lost hope 35 minutes through the process as we were having a difficult time getting the boy’s pulse back. When the paramedic finally managed to open a vein and administer medication, it gave me hope and I felt excitement and energy that helped me focus and push onwards. Ten minutes after we administered the medication the boy’s heart began to beat once more. It was a tremendous relief for me. I, together with the paramedics, staff and volunteers who work at that hospice, consider the children as a part of our own family. I did everything I could that day to make sure that I didn’t lose one of my brothers.”
Hayek concluded by saying, “It is times like these that I recognize just how grateful I am to be part of United Hatzalah. Being a part of the organization gives me the opportunity to help others in situations that I never even dreamed of. Helping another person, being a part of a team that saves a life is a gift that I can give to others which in turn they keep on passing as long as they live.”
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