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 at the local clinic, where he works as a nurse. Apologizing to his friend, Same ran to his car and raced to the clinic.
Upon entering the premises, the first responder had to make his way through the hysterical crowd surrounding the infant, to find 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, Same provided assisted ventilation to give the baby 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 her family, it feels like an eternity. My sense of time in these instances is completely different,” Same recalled.
Several minutes after the baby’s recovery, an intensive care ambulance arrived and evacuated her to Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva 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 said. “I am incredibly thankful and proud to be part of an organization like United Hatzalah, which provides me with the information, training, and equipment I need to save lives like the one from today.”