News and Events

Medical ICU Staff Helps Patient Connected to ECMO for Three Months to Go Outside

Publication Date: 12/30/2021 1:30 PM

Ahmed Bakri caught COVID-19 and was connected to an ECMO device at Rambam Health Care Campus after his condition deteriorated. In an attempt to improve his mood, the staff of the Medical Intensive Care Unit Established by a Donation from the Edmond De Rothschild Foundation (Israel) came up with a special idea.

Medical ICU staff members accompany Ahmed Bakri and his family as they go outside. Photography: Rambam HCCMedical ICU staff members accompany Ahmed Bakri and his family as they go outside. Photography: Rambam HCC

After months of anticipation, Ahmed Bakri, a 38-year-old resident of Northern Israel who has been connected to an ECMO device for more than three months, was given the opportunity to go outside after the Medical ICU staff at Rambam mobilized to make it happen.

Bakri, who was not vaccinated, fell ill in early September and was hospitalized at another hospital in the north. After his condition rapidly deteriorated, he was transferred to Rambam while connected to an ECMO device. Unfortunately, the damage to his lungs was so great that even though he has already recovered from the virus itself, he is still dependent on the device, which pumps and oxygenates his blood outside the body, allowing his heart and lungs to rest.

Because Bakri has been continuously hospitalized without seeing sunlight for such a long time, the several members of unit’s staff—including doctors, nurses, and ECMO technicians—worked together to take him for a short walk outside in the fresh air, accompanied by his family. Bakri’s medical team hoped that the activity would improve his mood and motivate him to fight for a return to normal life.

Ahlam Bakri, Ahmed’s wife, said, “I am vaccinated with two vaccines. My husband contracted COVID 19 at a shopping center in Karmiel while he was helping our daughter to get ready for first grade. I caught it from him, but my case wasn’t bad and I recovered easily. My husband was influenced by the ‘fake news’ on social media and did not want to get vaccinated. He was hospitalized in Nahariya three months ago, and a week later he was transferred to Rambam. It felt wonderful when he was taken out of the ICU, and we both shed tears of excitement. I thank the medical staff at Rambam and recommend to everyone - go get vaccinated.”

Click the picture below to watch the medical team as they bring Ahmed Bakri outside.