IDF assists in saving life of 13-year-old Palestinian child

The boy from Jenin was transported to a Haifa hospital after his condition turned life-threatening

Date: 02/03/2013, 2:33 PM     Author: Yair Barzilai

An IDF (Zahal) medical team was called to assist on Sunday (January 27) in the case of a 13-year-old Palestinian dialysis patient whose condition had escalated to the point where his life was in danger.

“We received a call around nine in the morning from the Chief Medical Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division informing us that there was a boy hospitalized in the Jenin hospital in need of further intensive care,” said Lt. Abed Rabah, Medical Officer of the Menashe Regional Brigade in the Judea and Samaria Division.

The Division Medical Officer was contacted when the child’s condition escalated after he had been anesthetized and attached to a breathing tube, which resulted in pulmonary edema – fluid accumulation in the air spaces of the lungs. The IDF (Zahal) decided to transfer him to the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa, whose Meyer Children’s Hospital specializes in Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis.

“The most critical issue for us in the first stage was to get him to breathe on his own again, not mechanically,” said Cpl. Jonathan Friedland, a paramedic with the Judea and Samaria Division. “The doctors at the Jenin hospital were unable to get him out of his mechanical breathing.”

IDF assists in saving life of 13-year-old Palestinian child

Paramedic Cpl. Jonathan Friedland

The team – consisting of an ambulance driver, a paramedic and a medical officer – received the child and his mother at the Gilboa-Jalame crossing, from where they were transported immediately to the Rambam Health Care Campus.

“Throughout the ride, we continued supporting him with anesthetics and kept him connected to a breathing tube,” explained Lt. Rabah.

The boy arrived safely at the Haifa healthcare facility, where doctors helped him regain his breathing. He was then treated in the hospital’s Pediatric ICU.

Lt. Rabah pointed out that the IDF (Zahal) frequently responds to medical requests from the Judea and Samaria region and underscored the importance of the IDF (Zahal)’s ongoing role in carrying out this duty. “We are honored to have been able to help. We will continue to do so regardless of the religion or ethnicity of the patient. This is what the IDF (Zahal) stands for,” he said, pointing out that the operation itself was a symbol of that cooperation.

“The Muslim boy was taken care of by a Jewish paramedic [and] a Druze medical officer and was transported in an ambulance driven by a Christian soldier,” Lt. Rabah noted.