On Thursday evening, May 13th, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Nafoussi was visiting a family member in the town of Neve Michael for dinner. At around 8:00 p.m., United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center alerted Avi to an emergency occurring nearby. The emergency was labeled as an Asthma attack, and knowing personally from a family member, Avi knew how crucial his presence would be.
Avi rushed over to the given address and arrived in under a minute, first at the scene. Avi found a 15-year-old boy lying unconscious on the floor. During a quick vital check, he found that the teenage boy had lost his pulse. Avi launched into full-blown CPR as additional EMTs began arriving at the scene.
After several rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilation, the 15-year-old boy’s pulse returned and was lost a total of three times before the ambulance arrived at the scene. Avi was later told that the ambulance team had fought for the boy’s pulse the whole way to the nearest hospital in Jerusalem. The CPR continued all the way into the ICU where the boy was attached to a ventilator in critical condition.
On Monday evening, just as the Shavout holiday had ended, Avi was notified that a miracle had occurred, and Yonatan had woken up. Yesterday, on Monday afternoon, together with Bet Shemesh chapter head of United Hatzalah David Leff, Avi went to the hospital to visit Yonatan.
“We came to encourage Yonatan and we ourselves were encouraged by him,” commented David Leff. “Seeing Yonatan standing on his own two feet, and speaking to us, was an incredible and uplifting experience. It was one of the moments that gives us as volunteers the strength to drop whatever we are doing and rush out to save a life, even if it means getting out of bed in the middle of the night, or leaving the Shabbat table to go save a life.”
During their visit, Avi and David explained to Yonatan how they fought in an attempt to save his life. Yonatan told Avi and David how he was out riding his bike when he felt faint and couldn’t breathe until he completely lost consciousness and collapsed. Yonatan thanked the EMTs profusely for saving his life.
“Visiting Yonatan in the hospital was an important moment for me, as an EMT,” added Avi. “Sometimes, responding to emergencies as an EMT is not always easy, both physically and mentally. However, the small moments, like going to see Yonatan in the hospital, are what keep me going, and remind me of the miracles I can participate in, all because I am an EMT, and I don’t give up.”
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