30-year-old Yogev and 22-year-old Noa Ben-Yehuda are a married couple living in Ashdod. The couple volunteer as United Hatzalah EMTs in the Ashdod chapter. The two have been volunteering since they met a year-and-a-half-ago, Noa volunteers as a paramedic and Yogev as an ambulance driver. The two responded to many medical emergencies on their own and together. But recently they have been saving lives in a different fashion, by taking an active part in the national campaign to vaccinate Israel’s populace as quickly as possible.
The couple has joined hundreds of other United Hatzalah volunteers and other trained medical personnel to vaccinate Israeli citizens at regional vaccination centers throughout the country. Through the first stage of Israel’s vaccination drive, the couple vaccinated hundreds of elderly patients and other at-risk citizens as well as their fellow first responders. Now, during the second wave of the vaccine drive, Yogev and Noa are vaccinating teachers and those over the age of 50 in the Ashdod area. The couple works in unison and can often be seen vaccinating people side-by-side.
When a frightened patient arrives at the vaccination center, Noa and Yogev work together to reassure the patient and enable them to have the easiest and most efficient experience they can have.
“Many patients have asked me how I work so well together with my husband?” said Noa. “I simply explain to them that my husband and I have been volunteering for so long, that it has become a part of us, and who we are both as individuals and as a couple. I tell them that I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
Working side by side from 8 a.m. until the late evening hours, Noa and Yogev have vaccinated over one thousand people each. One recent night, after returning from a shift in the vaccination center, the couple received a call from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center alerting them to an emergency taking place nearby. Despite just arriving at home, they got back in the car and raced to the scene with their medical kits.
Yogev added: “For Noa and me, it is considered a break when we volunteer to vaccinate people. We are fairly young and are used to the rush of adrenaline related to a medical emergency occurring. While there is no adrenaline rush while we are vaccinating people, it is in fact a precise process, we still enjoy it just as much because we know that we are helping people and hopefully putting an end to the effects of the Coronavirus. We both have a passion for volunteering and providing any type of medical aid to people who need it. So when people ask what it is like to have a spouse who has the same passion as you, I tell them with a smile that it is the greatest feeling of all.”
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