LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Maran Shaker is in his fourth and final year at UNLV’s School of Medicine, and during that time, he says his education has been less of a classroom experience and more of a hands-on experience.
From starting a blood bank after the 1 October shooting to now helping with coronavirus relief, Shaker and other UNLV medical students have stepped up to help.
He’s now helping run a phone bank at UNLV where people can call if they think they have COVID-19, then the students direct the callers to go to the drive-thru testing site.
“They never have to leave their car at the testing site, they get tested and they go back home and continue the social distancing measures,” said Shaker.
This isn’t the first time he’s saved lives.
Shaker joined the Army as a combat medic in 2009. He went on many deployments, including one to Afghanistan where his unit was assigned to find explosives. He said during that time he had to take care of a variety of injuries, from the lowest levels to the highest trauma.
Shaker is part of many military groups in Las Vegas and at UNLV, including the UNLV Rebel Vets and the Merging Vets and Players. He said in this most recent crisis, his military peers have seen the work he’s done to help and asked what they can do.
“People just started reaching out and saying how can I help, what projects can I get involved in,” he said.
He’s now created his own “army” of volunteers, giving tasks to his peers, like dropping off food and supplies to at-risk people.
“Although we have this metropolitan city feel and we continue to grow, at heart I think we really are a small community and we act like a really tight knit community,” he said.