On Friday afternoon, just after 1:00 p.m., a man in his 60s suffered a cardiac arrest in his own furniture store in the industrial section of Holon. The man collapsed on the floor and worried onlookers called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteers who were in the vicinity, Adir Sinai, Chaim Tapero, Jeremy Korchia, and Eliyahu Maimon, were all alerted to the emergency.
“I had just walked into my in-law’s house, to start the Purim Seudah when the alert came in. I apologized to them and rushed back out to my car and headed over to Timna street where the man had collapsed,” recounted Sinai.
“When I arrived, I checked his vitals and it was clear that he had suffered a cardiac arrest. I attached a defibrillator, delivered a shock, and then proceeded to perform CPR. After a few minutes, I was joined by Eliyahu, Chaim, and Yirmi. We worked together as a team, alternating compressions and assisted ventilation until we felt that the patient started resisting.”
Sinai continued, “After another round of compressions, we checked for a pulse and found one. When the mobile intensive care unit arrived, they confirmed the man’s pulse returned with a heart monitor. To our shock, the man then began to open his eyes. He even tried to sit up so we had to explain to him what had just happened. It was absolutely astounding to see this man recover so fast. This doesn’t generally happen, even in cases of successful CPRs.”
Tapero, who works as an Egged bus driver, also left his seudah and arrived at the scene on his ambucycle. “I was in the middle of the meal with my family when I received the alert. I rushed over to the store where the man collapsed and met Adir there. I’ll admit I didn’t think that we would be able to save him at first, as the majority of CPR patients don’t survive, but I felt that if we could save him, then this would certainly be a Purim miracle,” Tapero said.
“The man came through the CPR, opened his eyes, and even tried to talk a little to his wife and son who had been called and had shown up to be with him. We instructed him to relax and helped him understand what had just happened. That he suffered a cardiac arrest and was brought back to life.”
On Sunday, Adir Sinai received a call from the man, who was well on the way to making a full recovery in the hospital. “The man thanked me profusely for saving his life. The doctors had told him that our intervention was the key to his survival,” Sinai said. “I was floored when he told me that earlier in the day, he had given Matanot L’evyonim, charity to the poor, a special commandment for the day of Purim, in the sum of 619 NIS. When I asked him why 619, he told me that this number is the gematria for the Hebrew word for health, briyut. I was stunned and I didn’t know what to say to that. I told him that we were all happy to have been a part of helping him and that we were just doing our job and it was G-d who had really decided his fate. But I feel so overjoyed at having saved this man’s life on Purim. It felt to me like I had won the lottery.”
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