Saudi women nurses help save man who swallowed his tongue

This combo picture shows Saudi nurses Mariam Al-Shammari and Wafa Al-Anzi saving the life of a man who was lying breathless in a street in Hail after swallowing his tongue.

By Miteb Al-Awwad

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Two Saudi female nurses saved the life of a man who was lying breathless in a street in Hail after swallowing his tongue.

Mariam Al-Shammari, one of the two nurses who dealt with the case, saw the man lying in a semi-conscious state with a number of people standing around him. She said she had left her home, which was close by, and was on her way to visit her sister.

Al-Shammari said she got out of the car immediately and proceeded toward the man. She found the man’s clothes had made a noose around his neck.

She said she asked for a knife from a young man who was standing beside her and immediately cut the noose. It was then that she discovered the man had swallowed his tongue with blood coming out of his mouth. Shammari said at this moment the other nurse, Wafa Al-Anzi, arrived at the scene and helped her to bring the man’s tongue back to its place.

“We helped keep the man’s esophagus open and he started breathing before the Red Crescent paramedics arrived and took him to hospital,” she said.

She expressed her thanks and appreciation to the emir of Hail who ordered the two nurses be honored for their brave deed.

Al-Anzi, who has been working as a nurse for six years and is studying her master’s degree in hospital management, said she was with her husband on her way to visit her parents when she saw people crowding around a man who was lying in the middle of the street.

“I immediately got down from the car and moved toward the man. I found Mariam trying to save his life. I joined her and together we were able to remove his tongue from his throat,” she said.

Al-Anzi said as a first aid procedure, she checked the pulse and heart beats to make sure that the man was still alive.

She said while trying to put the tongue back in its correct place, the man bit her hand but she continued doing her job until he started breathing normally.

“I came to know Mariam at the place of this incident and since then we have become good friends,” she added.

She said she would never forget this incident in her life. “It was of course a sad incident but I am happy I was able to help out. I am also happy I was able to meet and know Mariam Al-Shammari there,” she said.