From the Front Lines: MDA in Action in Israel Detroit
Dr. John J. Mames Chapter-Michigan Region honors Mames family The Dr. John J. Mames Chapter — Michigan Region held its annual dinner last fall to remember its late leaders, Eva and Dr. John J. Mames. More than 250 community members came together to remember the Mames’ 45-year history of local leadership. Since 1967, the chapter has raised more than $30 million in support of MDA’s lifesaving work. Proceeds from the dinner sponsored a Mobile Intensive Care Unit dedicated to Eva and John, additional ambulances, and paramedic scholarships. ■
MDA paramedic helps woman deliver twins…over the phone MDA’s dedication to saving lives in Israel includes helping new lives begin. An Israeli woman expecting twins, Meital Shiri, was home alone when she suddenly went into labor despite being only 34 weeks pregnant. Panicked and unable to get to the hospital, she gave birth to the first child alone. At that point, she had the presence of mind to call MDA, the one organization she knew would immediately help. Maya Aloni, the MDA paramedic and dispatcher who took her call, told Shiri how to handle the newborn and guided her through the initial phases of delivering the second child — while simultaneously rushing an ambulance with MDA paramedics to Shiri’s home. During the conversation — which was recorded, like all emergency calls, and later replayed on Israeli television — Aloni calmly directed Shiri while providing emotional support and making the stressful situation more manageable. Within minutes, Shiri’s husband, Ilan, arrived home and Aloni gave him instructions as well. Very shortly after that, MDA paramedics arrived, delivered the second baby, and
From left, Arnold Gerson, AFMDA CEO; Manny Charach, chairman of the Dr. John J. Mames Chapter — Michigan Region; Cari Immerman, regional director; Andrea (Mames) Rosenblum; Sydney Rosenblum; Craig Rosenblum; and Dr. Robert Mames.
Feldman is AFMDA’s first motorbike sponsor Barry Feldman, president of Cleveland’s David Mark Berger Chapter and a national board member, made history by sponsoring the first-ever motorbike in the United States for MDA. Feldman dedicated the motorbike in Israel this past fall to his godchildren Zoe and Ethan. Feldman is a long- Barry Feldman, at right, the first U.S. motorbike sponsor, with MDA Director General Eli Bin. time AFMDA donor, and his mother Phyllis is remembered on an MDA ambulance. MDA’s nearly 200 motorbikes are capable of weaving in and out of challenging terrain in order to reach Israelis in need. They provide swift and efficient emergency response while working in tandem with MDA’s lifesaving ambulances. ■
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Paramedic Maya Aloni, left, featured on Israeli TV news after guiding Meital Shiri, right, through a home delivery of twins over the phone.
then took mother and newborns to the hospital, where the preemie twins were placed in incubators. All are now in good health. “At MDA, they teach us to function coolly and professionally,” Aloni said. “My role was to keep the mother calm, reassure her, and be supportive until the ambulance arrived.” And now, Israel’s newest twins will forever have Aloni — and her MDA training — as part of their lives. ■
Gil Hoffman makes the case for MDA The David Mark Berger Chapter of AFMDA partnered with Temple Emanu El for an enlightening event with Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. Hoffman’s visit to Cleveland, after a similar reception for AFMDA’s Philadelphia region, came just before President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. It focused on Israel’s security and emergency preparedness. ■