“My heart is ascertained that it’s a hard life; but I cannot stop my lips from smiling.”
It has been nearly end of November 2015, just a couple of weeks before my wedding I was assigned in Unit-18 stationed at Ghusais Civil Defense headquarters with senior Medic Matoza and senior driver Mohammad Ahmad. The shift started as normal. We were checking our stocks, cleaning the car, and preparing for whatever will come our way that night. As the winter breeze started cooling off the day sun left, we were able to hint to ourselves, it might be a quiet night as the medic’s radio channel is quite calm. Just when we were about to take a turn for an evening meal, a call came to us from dispatch. It was an unspecified medical call, possibly hypoglycemia.
So we were on our route to the location and I was preparing the things we would need behind the truck as I am the one seated in the cabin. We reached the scene for about three minutes and I was amazed how awkward the surrounding walls. No commotion to alert us to something unusual. It was a quite big gated house with lots of cars parked in the parking area. By merely looking around you can tell that the family who lives there is a well-to-do family. We were greeted by a young lad outside the main door and he guided us inside the house to where his brother lies. Upon entering into the room we introduced ourselves to the older lady which I presumed his mother and two other young teens and they seemed to be alright, except for the mother who was a little distraught.
A young man on his thirty’s lying literally unresponsive in bed. When we ask what happened while assessing the patient, the sister revealed to us that her brother was fighting with their older brother when the later reprimanded him. She told us that their older brother was angry, but when she was about to tell us the reason why her mother stopped her and sends her out. The man lying on the bed, still refused to move and respond to us. We checked all the vitals and everything was normal including 12 leads ECG. The mother then told us that her son was having a history of seizure and she said he might have one prior to our arrival. She also said that her son is taking regular medication for seizure, but was not able to name the particular medicine her son is taking. So we decided to bring the patient to Rashid Hospital base on the history as low priority. There were no signs of post seizure though, but since the patient still refused to cooperate, we took him in the ambulance on stretcher with his mother inside the cabin with us as she declined to sit in the front.
While on route to Rashid Hospital, my partner senior medic Matoza tried to coordinate with the EMT Post as the hospital is unwilling to accept the patient. I made my secondary assessment and there I discovered a needle mark in his arm on the left brachioradialis area. The mother had lied to us. Her son was injecting drugs when his older brother found him. When the patient sensed that we uncovered his secret, he started to become violent. He was able to free himself from the stretcher strap on his arm and started punching my partner who was still on the phone trying to explain to the EMT Post about the situation. I alerted the driver Mohammad Ahmad to pull over and call police. At that moment the mother became very angry due to the fact that we have called the police for assistance and started accusing us of hurting her son as she saw me pinning him down on the stretcher while alerting our driver. She called her other son and told him we had called the police for his brother.
Meanwhile, acting shift supervisor Aala Almomani was monitoring us through Arabic channel and had arrived at the place we had stopped seconds after the police came, kudos to him for his prompt action. He talked to the brother and explained to him that we are just doing our job for the safety of everyone on board as his brother was trying to hurt us. One of the police escorted us to the hospital while the patient was still acting violently but already well strapped. As we reached the hospital Emergency Room, doctors and nurses were ready to meet us and took action on sedating the patient just to calm him down.
This experience told us so many lessons, to enlighten us on what to do when circumstances go wrong. No matter how tranquil the situation is, we have to be always prepared and ready to act for our safety. If the patient’s life matter; and so ours’ too. Drug abuse is a worldwide problem. It is a problem to the society. Drug abusers will not care whether you are a medic or not, a family or not. Their minds have been clouded with a wrong notion about life. Sometimes their own family will not tell you the whole truth or even lie to you and leave you blinded while treating their patients. The threat to our safety while on the job is real. Always be safe because our lives too; matters.
“Gratitude can never be found in a gloomy and hateful heart, for they will never appreciate the kindness you’ve shown even if they tasted a handful of it again and again”.
~Maria Shila Clarion Caraan~