Saudi Arabia man awarded Heartsaver Hero Award for saving child with CPR

Salem Al-Shaibani, an educator and media consultant from Taif, Saudi Arabia, was recently given a Heartsaver Hero Award by the American Heart Association in recognition of his heroic and courageous act to save a life in a cardiac emergency.

In March, which is also Heartsaver Month in the Middle East and North Africa Region, Salem was shopping at a mall in Saudi Arabia with his family when he passed by a CPR training booth run by medical students with the MDD Voluntary Team.

The students encouraged him to stop at the booth, but he politely declined and kept walking. A while later, he decided to go back to the booth and see what it was about. The medical students taught him the steps to hands only CPR and gave him information on the importance quick bystander intervention. Salem even asked them about CPR for a child or baby since he has children of his own, and was taught the modifications.

He never imagined that soon he would be putting his new skills to the test.

About a week later, Salem was at a park in Taif when he heard loud screams. He went towards them and found a crowd surrounding an unconscious one-and-a-half-year-old child. The child had drowned in the nearby pool, wasn’t breathing and was turning blue. Salem immediately remembered what he learned just the week before and jumped into action. He started performing CPR on the child and after a few minutes of continuous compressions, he coughed up water and started breathing again.

The child, named Hattan Abed Al-Qurashi, was taken to the hospital and later discharged with a clean bill of health. Salem even got to visit Hattan in the hospital while he was recovering. Salem wants to inspire everyone to learn CPR so they, too, could save a life.

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