Late Wednesday afternoon, Bashir Abu Ata, a Muslim volunteer with United Hatzalah was driving on the highway near the entrance of the town after returning from transporting a patient back home from a medical checkup. Just as Bashir entered the town, he received an alert that an older woman had lost consciousness and collapsed, requiring immediate medical attention. 

Bashir Abu Ata Murad Aliyan and Ahmed Zoabi in Nazareth 1
Bashir Abu Ata, Murad Aliyan and Ahmed Zoabi

Bashir, who heads the organization’s Wadi Ara Chapter while also running his own ambulance company in his hometown of Kfar Kara, quickly flipped on his lights and sirens and rushed over to the given address, which he knew well. 


A woman in her late 60s lived there. This was a woman whom Bashir has treated many times over the years as she suffers from a chronic illness. Bashir parked outside the home, grabbed his medical equipment, and ran inside the house. He found the woman lying on her sofa, and with the utmost care, he checked her vital signs. Finding none, he gently moved her to the ground with the help of a worried family member and began to perform CPR. 


“I attached a defibrillator, but it did not advise a shock. I was worried,” recounted Bashir. “This was a woman I knew well. I have gotten to know her over the years as I have been called upon many times to come and help her as a result of her illness. In spite of everything she has a lot of vitality and spirit and I knew I had to do everything I could to save her. “ 


Bashir had launched into CPR, providing compressions and assisted breathing for eight minutes, until another ambulance could arrive. “When the next ambulance came, they joined me in trying to revive the woman, and after another few tense moments, the woman’s pulse came back, even before the mobile intensive care ambulance (MICU) arrived. Once she was stable, we loaded her into the MICU and she was taken to the hospital,” Bashir recounted. 


“I was very relieved to know that I had helped this woman once again and that she would live. She has been through a lot and deserves every chance to find whatever happiness she can,” Bashir added. 


Bashir concluded by saying, “This is what we do. It is our job as first responders to provide the highest level of caring and medical care to our patients. It is something that I take a lot of pride in doing and I am thankful for the opportunity to help others and save lives.”

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