On Monday night, just after 7:00 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Haim Gil David was on his way out of his apartment in Netanya. Haim Gil and his family were heading out to the graduation of Haim’s son’s 8th-grade graduation ceremony when his communication device alerted him to a nearby medical emergency. With a supportive nod from his wife, Haim Gil jumped on his ambucycle and headed to the given address.
At approximately the same distance from the emergency, from the other direction, volunteer EMT Yonathan Auoat was driving his ambucycle en route to the address. Yonathan had just arrived home from work. As he parked his ambucycle, he jumped back on and raced to the scene of the emergency. Haim Gil and Yonathan arrived at the same time, both in under a minute and a half.
With the help of some neighbors who were passing by and knew the code for the residential gate, the two EMTs entered the gated home. Haim Gil grabbed a rug and used it to prop the door open for the ambulance team who would be arriving any minute. The two EMTs then headed up to the house and found an unconscious 72-year-old man lying on the ground with his daughter attempting CPR.
Haim Gil and Yonathan immediately took over chest compressions as the daughter explained that her father was suffering an airway obstruction and that he had been sick with lung cancer for a few years. Haim Gil attached his defibrillator but it did not advise a shock. The two EMTs continued with CPR, switching off rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilation. After seven minutes of strenuous CPR efforts, an ambulance crew arrived at the scene and joined the attempts to revive the pulseless man.
As the ambulance team assisted Haim Gil and Yonathan in chest compressions, Haim Gil noticed the man flinch. When he checked for a pulse, Haim Gil found the man’s pulse and paused the CPR. The team continued with assisted ventilation until the man’s condition stabilized just as a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene.
After making sure the patient was secure and on his way to the nearest hospital, Haim Gil informed Yonathan that he was late to his own son’s graduation party. Yonathan told Haim Gil to leave immediately, and so he did, arriving only a half an hour late to the event.
“I have been volunteering for over 10 years now, and my family is very used to my picking up and running out to respond to emergencies,” said Haim Gil. “When I ride my ambucycle, I keep thinking of how much of a gift it is. The ability to be able to respond to medical emergencies so quickly has saved many lives. On top of that, just as I was able to reach the emergency quickly, I was also able to rush over to my own son’s graduation quickly, and only miss the beginning. I was glad to be able to help the man today, and I was also glad to be there for my son and watch his proud moment.”
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