On Thursday morning just before 3:00 a.m., a man in his mid-80s had woken up in his home on Hashalva Street in Dimona and told his wife that he was feeling ill. According to the wife’s retelling of the story, the man then proceeded to lose consciousness and collapsed back into bed. She called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center received the emergency and alerted the closest responders to the incident, volunteer EMTs Netanel Kalfon and Yosef Asor. Both Netanel and Yosef were at their respective homes and were sound asleep when they were woken up by their emergency communications devices alerting them to the medical emergency occurring nearby. Both men rushed out of bed and left their homes to respond as quickly as they could to help.
Netanel lives closer and arrived first. “I saw the man unconscious on his bed and after checking his vital signs and not finding a pulse, I lowered him to the ground, with the help of the man’s son, so that I could begin CPR,” Netanel recounted. “Just after I began compressions, Yosef ran in with a defibrillator which we attached, but no shock was recommended. We carried on with CPR alternating between compressions and assisted ventilation until a paramedic arrived and was able to administer medication.”
Yosef added: “The man was in a state of Asystole, which is the most serious form of cardiac arrest. The defibrillator didn’t give a shock because it wasn’t a case of VF. The fact that we managed to bring his pulse back and even get him breathing on his own once again was pretty much a miracle. But thankfully, we were able to do so and we managed to stabilize his condition. He was transported to the hospital with a strong blood pressure while intubated and sedated. This was definitely one of the more dramatic and successful CPRs that I have been involved with in a while.”
When asked what it was like to be woken up in the middle of the night and perform a successful CPR Yosef added, “I haven’t yet slept since then. After saving someone’s life the sensation of euphoria I got wouldn’t let me sleep. I lay down and all I was able to do was think about the good that took place tonight and that Netanel, myself, and all the other medical responders who rushed out at that hour of the morning helped bring into the world. Here we have a father, grandfather and maybe even great grandfather, who will now get another chance to spend some time with his family and that is everything. It certainly makes waking up in the middle of the night worthwhile.”
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