As a senior ER physician, Dr. Bahir Sirhan is used to all kinds of unpleasant scenarios. But he never imagined he’d be treating family members hit by an anti-tank missile.
While Israel is facing war primarily in the south, along the Gaza border, its northern frontier has also come under attack from Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations that are capitalizing on these difficult times with barrages of missiles.
In one of these attacks, an anti-tank missile was fired from southern Lebanon at a community called Shtula near the border, resulting in the death of a construction worker working nearby and the injury of three more.
These three injured men were brought to the Galilee Medical Center, where Sirhan works.
“One of the staff members showed me a video from the event that was on the social networks. I immediately recognized the family vehicle and realized it was theirs,” the doctor recalls.
“Within a second, my aunt called me and said that her husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law were in the same place of the missile attack, and she wanted to see if they had come to us.”
“Several minutes later, I saw them coming and realized that their condition was relatively fine. I went to them immediately, it was important for me to reassure and calm them,” he says.
“I am sorry that the fourth construction worker, who was not a relative, died instantly,” he adds.
Two of the wounded were hospitalized in a surgical department, while the third was released home after undergoing tests in the emergency room.
While working on autopilot in this bizarre situation, Sirhan noted, he felt he was operating on two fronts – treating the wounded, as well as calming down his family and offering support.
“As a doctor, I learned to treat people and to specialize in urgent medicine, but I do not think anyone can teach you how to deal with such situations on a mental level,” Sirhan concludes. “I never thought I would take care of my family, and especially in an emergency during war.”