How lucky it was for the mother! Itzik Kara, a Hadassah Hospital nurse hospital employee who also serves as a United Hatzalah paramedic, stopped to fill up his motorcycle on his way to work, and received a call about a birth taking place right there at the gas station. He immediately went to take care of the mother and welcomed the new baby girl before continuing on to work.
Itzik Kara, Head of the Revenue Unit in the Economics Division at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and formerly Head of the Nursing Division in the hospital’s recovery and intensive care operating rooms, is a veteran nurse throughout. In addition to his work at the medical center, he volunteers with United Hatzalah as a paramedic riding an ambucycle*; he lives and breathes his care for the sick or wounded.
On that day, as every day, Itzik intended to leave his home for the hospital on time, but was slightly delayed because of a flat tire on his son’s bike. After dealing with the problem, he started riding his motorcycle to Jerusalem. At ten to seven in the morning, he stopped at the Shoresh Interchange gas station to fill up with fuel for the rest of the trip.
Until this point, everything had been relatively routine. Still, a few minutes after arriving, he received a call from United Hatzalah on his on-call device about a woman giving birth at the gas station. “Miraculously, thanks to the delay at home in the morning, I was able to be in the right place at exactly the right time,” he says.
“I started looking for the car with the mother in it; in the meantime, her husband realized that if I was running around the station checking vehicles, I must have come to help, so he came out and called me to come to them.
I went up to the woman lying in the back seat, and she said she was in severe pain and felt like she was giving birth,” he describes the moments of drama.
“I quickly took her details and asked general questions about the pregnancy. I did a brief anamnesis (patient’s account of her medical history) to understand the situation – what I was dealing with, what data or medical condition I needed to know about, and what week of pregnancy she was in. I immediately returned to the motorcycle to take out the birth kit and the rest of the equipment and start assisting in the birth.”
Kara says that after a few moments of pressure and pain, an adorable baby girl came into the world. Her voice could be heard throughout the station.
After examining the baby and ensuring everything was okay, Kara handed her straight to the new mother for a first hug. In the meantime, an intensive care unit arrived on the scene with many paramedics and medics who took the mother and baby to the hospital for further treatment.
“The woman’s husband was moved and thanked me very much for the mission I carried out before they were taken to the hospital,” he says with a smile. “It’s definitely a lovely and exciting way to start the workday. It is clear that being a nurse and a paramedic is a way of life; you are driven every moment of your day, no matter when and where. You are there to assist in the moment of truth.
To my delight and indeed to their delight, the event was short and went smoothly – after less than twenty minutes, I was already on my way to work at Hadassah.”’
*United Hatzalah uses a fleet of “ambucycles”, which are paramedics on motorcycles that are specially equipped with much of the emergency equipment used in ambulances. They can frequently respond to emergencies faster than ambulances can, particularly in heavy traffic.