Within minutes, an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) ambulance arrived with a driver and paramedic (both armed and in IDF uniform) and assisted the rapidly deteriorating Nadia into the vehicle together with her mother. They sped north through the Jordan Valley and by the time they reached the Israeli city of Beit Shean, Nadia was vomiting blood and losing consciousness. It is important to note that there were no delays whatsoever at the Israeli security checkpoints along the valley route and the ambulance with the two Palestinian women inside was rushed through. After another half hour the ambulance arrived to our ER and Nadia was then totally unconscious with severe internal and external bleeding.
Among the deadly effects of this snake’s envenomation is hemostatic failure or a breakdown of the bodies coagulation mechanism. The young Arab woman was treated with antivenom and admitted for hospitalization. The adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit) was full to capacity so the woman was rushed to our Pediatric ICU where she was still being treated when I walked in to interview her today, May 21st. Her mother, Watfa was by her side and a young Muslim woman whose infant daughter was being treated less than two meters away acted as my interpreter.
After introducing myself, I asked Watfa, ‘‘Were you afraid of traveling in an IDF vehicle with armed soldiers?’‘
Before she answered, she had Nadia call her Uncle who gave them permission to speak freely with me. It was clear that they would not have done so without their male relative’s approval. ‘‘Not for one second,’‘ she answered with her index finger in the air to make her point. ‘‘Those men, including the Jewish farmers, came to help save my daughter and I only felt gratitude and never any fear.’‘
Then the obvious question:
‘If I publicly tell your story, are you afraid that the Palestinian Authority will harm you or your daughter?’ I asked, knowing how most Palestinians refuse to speak openly of their life-saving experiences at Jewish hands.
Watfa looked to me and the others nearby and answered, ‘‘You saved my daughter’s life. I am not afraid of the Palestinian Authority. All people need to know the truth.’‘
The really interesting question is this: if the PA gets control of the West Bank, will people like Nadia have access to the same level of care? Think about all of the Jewish doctors and hospitals here in the U.S. Would we want to be without them? I wouldn’t.
My experience with Muslims also tells me that they are more expressive of gratitude than many others. Take a look at the testimonials here.