On Monday night, a woman went into labor at her home in one of Jerusalem’s northern neighborhoods. Her husband quickly called emergency services for help. The family, who was familiar with some of the first responders in their neighborhood, waited excitedly for them to arrive.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Leah Einhorn, who is part of the organization’s specialized women’s unit, known as the Adele and Joel Sandberg Women’s Unit, had just returned from her nightly run when she received the alert to the medical emergency. She quickly put her shoes back on, grabbed her vest and medical kit, and rushed over to the given address. Upon arriving in the apartment, Leah found the soon-to-be mother in advanced labor. Leah notified dispatch that she was preparing to assist in the delivery of the baby and to alert the ambulance that it would be a home birth.
“The woman was well into the labor and the delivery came quickly,” Leah explained. “I assisted in delivering a healthy baby girl. After finishing off the delivery process and checking that both the mother and daughter were healthy, I took the baby girl in my arms and heard her cry which touched my heart. It wasn’t my first delivery but something about it had an impact on me. After everything was over and the ambulance arrived the mother and daughter were transported to the hospital. It was then that a neighbor came up to me and pointed out that I had been here before. In truth, I didn’t recognize the address, but the neighbor pointed out to me that I had helped this family once before.”
Three years ago, Leah had been dispatched to a medical emergency at the same address. The incident involved the father of this new baby after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Leah was one of the first responders to arrive and initiate CPR on him. “During the CPR I remember assisting during the initial stages,” Leah recounted. “Then once the ambulance teams arrived and there were enough people to perform CPR on the husband, I went to comfort the young wife. The couple was alone, with no family in the area. The woman told me that they had been trying to have children. She was crying in my arms worried about what was going to happen to her husband. I provided her with what comfort I could. The teams worked tirelessly to try and save the man’s life. Finally, after 40 minutes of CPR and a number of shocks from a defibrillator, the man’s pulse came back at a stable rate. The feeling of elation we all felt was tangible. We knew it would be a long process for him to make a full recovery, but there was now hope. Hope for a new beginning for the man and for this young family.”
Leah reflected on the two incidents together. “I thought to myself after the baby girl was born how one action can have so many different interpretations. I helped this young new mother through two sets of tears, tears of sadness when her husband was undergoing CPR, and tears of joy at the fulfillment of so many prayers now that their first child was finally born. It gave me a sense of coming full circle and really brought home for me just how important the work is that we do as first responders. We recite so many prayers and we shed so many tears for the people we help. It is always our dream that our patients recover and continue to live their lives and bring more light into the world. I count myself lucky that I have merited to see these miracles, first of the husband’s survival and second of this new baby girl, who carries with her the hopes and dreams of her parents who went through so much to finally bring her into the world and finally meet her.”
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