The American Heart Association recently presented the Heartsaver Hero Award to Salem Al-Shaibani, a teacher and media consultant from Taif, Saudi Arabia, in honor of his brave and heroic actions to save a life during a cardiac emergency.
Salem was shopping with his family in a mall in Saudi Arabia in March, which is also Heartsaver Month in the Middle East and North Africa region, when he passed by a CPR instruction station run by medical students with the MDD Voluntary Team.
He was urged by the students to pause at the booth, but he politely rejected it and continued walking. After some time, he made the decision to return to the booth and learn more.
He learned how to perform hands-only CPR from the medical students, who also informed him of the value of prompt bystander action. Since he had children of his own, Salem even inquired about CPR for a kid or newborn and was instructed on the changes.
He had no idea that he would soon be putting his new abilities to the test.
A week later, Salem heard shrill screams when he was in a Taif park. When he approached them, he discovered a group of people gathered around an unresponsive one and a half-year-old child.
The kid was turning blue, not breathing, and had drowned in the pool nearby. Salem took fast action after recalling what he had learned the previous week. After beginning CPR on the infant, he coughed up water and resumed breathing after a few minutes of continuous compressions.
The boy, Hattan Abed Al-Qurashi, was transported to the hospital and later released after receiving a clear medical report. Hattan was even allowed to have visits from Salem while he was recuperating.
Salem wants to encourage everyone to take a CPR course so they can each potentially save a life.