Around 7, Wednesday morning, a woman in her 50s with a complicated medical history was about to sit down for breakfast in her home in the Galilean village of Tur’an (population 14,240) when she suddenly lost consciousness. Her sister, Knowing her woman’s medical history, quickly checked her blood sugar and found it extremely low – the woman had gone into a hypoglycemic coma. The sister immediately called emergency services for help, as before her very eyes her sister’s breathing stopped.
Ameen Ghaben, who lives in Tur’an, was asleep at his home when his communications device blared, alerting him to the nearby medical emergency. The United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, who is also a registered nurse, quickly got up, threw on some clothes, and raced to the given address a few blocks away. He was the first responder at the door and quickly checked the woman’s vital signs. The woman was unconscious, was not breathing, and didn’t have a pulse, so Ameen alerted the dispatch that he was performing CPR and requested backup while launching compressions.
Ameen performed compressions for a few minutes by himself until two mobile intensive care ambulances had arrived and the teams quickly joined his efforts, providing assisted breathing and medications to stabilize the woman’s condition. A defibrillator was attached and the woman received four shocks. Twenty minutes after Ameen’s arrival, the woman’s pulse came back.
“Once we got her pulse back we administered two doses of glucose to raise her sugar levels so that she won’t be in hypoglycemic shock,” Ameen explained. “After that, we brought her to the ambulance and she was transported to Poriya Hospital in T’veria where she will receive follow-up care. I hope and pray that she makes a full recovery and can go back to her sister and family.”
Ameen added, “I work as a registered nurse. I help people all the time. But saving a life – there’s no better feeling than that. There’s no better reason to wake up in the morning than to save a life. That’s why I joined United Hatzalah, so I could save lives and help people, help my neighbors and community, even when I’m not at work. There’s nothing better than that.”
Tur’an is located at the foot of Mount Tur’an, in the Tur’an Valley, near the main road from Haifa to T’veria, and about four miles north of Nazareth. On July 18, 1948, the IDF captured Tur’an and the homes of the villagers who fled were later used to house Arab refugees from nearby villages. The village remained under Martial Law until 1966. Today, it is a local council in the Northern District of Israel.