When 60-year-old Raef Amr from Hebron, West Bank experienced severe chest pains and tingling in his arm, he went straight to the nearest doctor.
Being a nurse, Raef knew very well that what he could be facing was a heart attack.
Fortunately, an ambulance was ready immediately when the doctor contacted a local hospital in Palestine.
“It only took 30 to 45 minutes from the moment the heart attack came about to the moment I began performing the cardiac catheterization,” said Cardiologist Dr. Mohammad Nasr. “He needed an immediate intervention, and there was no time to waste!”
The environment where Dr. Nasr works helps ease such tense situations, as the cardiology department is developed, well-equipped and well supplied.
With donated medical supplies from various organizations like Anera, the hospital, considered the largest in the West Bank, is always ready to give its patients the care and treatment they need, regardless of their financial situation.
Most recently, Anera delivered a vital donation of 18 stents to the hospital from long-time partner and donor AmeriCares.
Lucky for Raef, the Hebron hospital was stocked with these crucial medical instruments before his arrival—which may very well have saved his life.
Raef's New Healthy Lifestyle After Successful Heart Procedure
Only three days after his medical emergency, Raef is ready to go home. He feels grateful for being granted a second chance and is committed to quitting smoking and eating a healthier diet.
“I was told my heart was revived twice,” stated Raef. “All I remember was the severe pain in my chest, and as the doctor operated, the pain magically disappeared. I finally felt relief.” The ‘disappearance’ of the pain was later explained to him by the doctor. It was the result of inserting the stent.
Although a sportsperson himself and holder of the brown belt in karate, Raef has been a smoker for 25 years. Smoking, as pointed out by Dr. Naser, is the number two cause of heart disease in Hebron, preceded by heredity. Diabetes, high blood pressure, lack of physical exercise and high-cholesterol diets are also common causes. This type of health education is part of the doctor’s treatment routine.
Anera is a dear name to my heart... It is an organization to lean on.
With follow-up and appropriate medication, some of it more donated medical supplies from Anera, Raef will soon carry on with his life of teaching at a university in Jenin, preparing his PhD dissertation, pampering his three grandchildren, tending to his home garden and practicing karate with his friends.
“Anera is a dear name to my heart,” explained Raef. “Not only has it helped me with my recent situation, it was actually the only organization to help me fund my very first research exploring the post-traumatic impact of the first Intifada [popular uprising] on children when I was much younger. It is an organization to lean on.”
Donated Medical Supplies Will Continue to Provide Relief
Stents are indispensable to any cardiology department because they literally save lives. The team of cardiologists at the Hebron hospital conducts diagnostic tests on 60 to 80 patients and performs around 35 procedures a month.
Next month, they will perform a procedure using a stent on a current patient, Zainab Issa. Zainab will be undergoing a scheduled cardiac catheterization to help treat her heart condition. While she’s a bit nervous, she knows she’s in good hands. Zainab knows the medical staff in the cardiac unit are thorough and that she will receive high-quality care at this hospital.