A Palestinian Authority Arab woman found sanctuary and helping hands inside an IDF military ambulance when faced with giving birth to a premature infant early Monday.
The woman, who lives in the Jordan Valley, called for medical assistance at around 2:00 a.m., having gone into labor too soon. An IDF paramedic, three medics and the deputy commander of the Valley Brigade himself, Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, rushed to the scene.
Since her home was not accessible by ambulance, the team carried the woman to the vehicle by stretcher. The IDF medics then headed down Route 90 to the hospital with the woman in the ambulance -- but they didn't make it.
Instead, the team was forced to stop by the side of the road when it became clear that birth was imminent. Paramedic Sgt. Gilad Nesher delivered the premature infant -- a difficult procedure since there was no birthing equipment in the army ambulance. Of even greater concern was the fact that once born, the baby initially was not breathing.
It took an hour of intensive CPR by the team before the tiny infant was able to breathe independently. The mother and newborn were airlifted in an IDF helicopter from the elite 669 Search and Rescue Unit to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, where both are now resting.