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Dr. Abdulkader Dahhan, second from left, is shown with Harlan County High School coaches Ryan Vitatoe, John Lewis and Eddie Creech following a presentation at the December meeting of the Harlan County Board of Education.

Doctor donates to county schools

Local physician Dr. Abdulkader Dahhan has made it possible for the Harlan County School District to be better prepared for critical emergencies at athletic events and practices.

Presenting the Harlan County Board of Education a check for $3,900, Dahhan has made it possible for three automated external defibrillators to be purchased and earmarked for athletic programs.

Calling Dahhan’s action “an extremely generous donation,” Superintendent Brent Roark said the devices will be readily available for the athletic programs when and if the need arises.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia, and is able to treat victims through defibrillation, the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

Utilizing audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to assist anyone with properly using the device to save another person’s life.

Roark explained during the meeting that Dahhan also contributed previously to help purchase AEDs for the district’s schools.

AEDs cost about $1,400, said Roark.

Roark commended Dahhan for his generosity.

“Hopefully this is something we never use,” said Roark. “I hope we have them and they sit on a shelf and the battery dies and we never touch them but to just replace the battery. However, if we ever need them I certainly want them to be there. The child or adult life saved would be eternally indebted to you (Dr. Dahhan).”

Roark noted that in an emergency situation time is important.

“It is a long way from the football complex back to the high school to go in and get one (AED) and get back over there. Something horrific could happen during that time,” said Roark “It is a long way from the spring sports complex back to the high school to get one and get back to the complex. And, it is a long way from the soccer complex and the football field for the middle school team to go into JACEs, find one and get back to the facility.”

The superintendent noted that Dahhan provides a lot of services to meet the needs of the district.

“Dr. Dahhan does a whole lot for our district,” he said. “He does our pre-employment drug screens. He does our pre-employment physicals. He does all of our drug screens if we have an accident. He is an enormous asset to us. He guides us a lot of times on what we should or shouldn’t be doing as far as employment and making a decision to hire somebody.”

Among those attending the meeting to show appreciation to Dahhan were Football Coach Eddie Creech, Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Ryan Vitatoe and Baseball Coach John Lewis.