Eleven years ago‚ Ashraf Solomons thought he was going to die after he was stabbed in the neck by muggers who stole his cellphone.
Then two Cape Town paramedics arrived‚ and in a touching new video Solomons is reunited with them and thanks them for saving his life.
The video‚ made by FCB Cape Town for Western Cape Emergency Medical Services‚ says it’s time to let paramedics know how valuable they are.
“Emergency Medical Services save thousands of lives every year. Sadly‚ they often fall victim to roadside attacks. Faced with hostility‚ it’s no surprise they feel under-valued‚” it begins.
Then it introduces Solomons‚ from Mitchells Plain‚ who says he was certain he was going to die as he attempted to use his T-shirt to stop the bleeding from a massive wound.
“I would have died 11 years ago‚ but with the help of EMS I survived‚” he says. “They are the reason I am living today. I would like to meet them and just tell them thank you for what you did for me. Thank you that I have a daughter today and it’s through them that she is alive.”
He and his daughter are then taken to meet the first responders who saved his life — Gloria Xesha and Brendon Ruffer‚ who have 45 years’ experience between them.
“If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here‚ she wouldn’t be here‚” he tells them. The medics are seen talking with Solomons and his daughter‚ and exchanging hugs.
“This is a very special honour to have someone coming out to say thank you‚” said Xesha.
Ruffer said the encounter compelled him to want to go out and help more people.
The video ends with an ambulance driving to another emergency at night‚ siren blaring‚ and the words: “To all those who risk their lives to save others… Thank you.”
A new documentary‚ “Red Zone Paramedics”‚ shows how first responders such as Xesha and Ruffer are regarded as “soft targets” by criminals.