The baby brought to the IDF field hospital was in desperate condition. With an extended abdomen, severe anemia and sepsis, he needed O negative blood at once.
IDF paramedic Maayan Lunz didn’t waste a moment. Within minutes, she was donating her own.
This was just one of many extraordinary scenes in the IDF camp set up in the aftermath of last week’s devastating Haitian earthquake. The Israeli field hospital was the first able to offer surgery and complicated medical care in the ruined city of Port-au-Prince.
In their first days, Israeli medics performed many operations on Haitians pulled from the rubble.
In most cases, this was their only chance to receive medical care, without which they would not survive. Later, other hospitals began referring their worst cases to the Israelis.
The Israeli mission, consisting of 220 members and 60 tonnes of equipment, arrived in Haiti three days after the earthquake. Israeli rescue teams managed to rescue several Haitians from the ruins.
President Shimon Peres said the soldiers demonstrated “the IDF at its best, as an army not only for the defence of Israel but for the defence of humanity”. He told them: “Your volunteer efforts have once again shown the beautiful spirit of the IDF; a spirit that is humane and mobilises even to save one life.”