Amal Was Ready for the Hostages

June 21, 2024

Amal Kabha was the shift manager in Sheba’s ER on Saturday June 8 when the alert came in of an incoming helicopter with wounded.

Amal is one of the 25% of Sheba staff who are Arab-Israeli.

Amal was soon to learn, as was all of Israel and the world, that four rescued hostages were on their way to Sheba.

Also on the helicopter was a serious casualty, Counterterrorism Unit Commando Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, the commander of the hostage rescue operation.

At the end of her shift, Amal wrote the following WhatsApp message to the team:

“Dear team, I write with trembling hands. It started like a regular morning, Saturday, the ER was unusually calm, but we know how irrelevant this calm is, it can turn in a minute! And the quiet was shattered the moment I got the notification of an incoming helicopter with an injured soldier. A frantic preparation, trauma team, blood bank, operating room, imaging, and support staff, all preparing for the helicopter. During this time, with everyone ready and waiting, we received news of four hostages coming home. This led to another quick and intense preparation. Within minutes the ER was full, teams from all specialties, excited families, security personnel, media, curious onlookers, and I, with trembling hands and teary eyes. At that moment, a helicopter lands with Arnon, who suffered severe multi-system trauma. I hear Dr. Klein say, ‘Amal, prepare the thoracotomy set urgently’ and I realized how complex this is going to be. Our best teams started attending to him, and I tried to hold myself and the team together. This I will never forget.

In the ER, I thought to myself, “no one understands what we go through, we are on the front lines. The paradox we experience daily, just a few meters separate celebrating families from a family praying just to hear that their loved one is breathing.”

So many mixed emotions that I can’t put into words. Shock, shouts of joy and happiness. For over an hour, we fought for Arnon with every method at our disposal but unfortunately, his eyes closed forever.

I don’t know how to explain the madness in this place, the pain, the tears, the emotions, the joy and the loss, immense pain alongside hope.

I can only express my deepest gratitude to the team and all those in the various ER departments, holding themselves together throughout the craziness.

Thank you to everyone who fought and did not give up, who contributed their knowledge and experience in the attempt to save lives and to contain the most difficult and significant moments.

Thanks to everyone who supported the families, both to bless the return of the hostages or to strengthen and comfort the bereaved family – none of it is taken for granted.

It wasn’t easy.
Have a good week and may we only receive good news.”

And may the family and loved ones of Arnon Zamora be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Am Yisrael Chai


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