On Monday morning, a man in his 40s was shopping when he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed inside a storefront on Ye’elim Boulevard in Be’er Sheva. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and Deputy Chapter Head of the Be’er Sheva region Avinoam Yaakov was at his home when he received the emergency alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center.
“I rushed over to the storefront which was two short blocks from my house,” recounted Avinoam. “When I arrived at the location I found a man unconscious on the floor, he was not breathing and had no pulse. Together with the assistance of passersby, I began CPR. I instructed them how to do compressions while I attached a defibrillator. I then took over compressions while instructing the person helping me how to provide assisted ventilation. One shock was delivered. After a minute another shock was delivered, and then another, and finally a fourth. Other emergency medical personnel arrived and joined the effort. After the fourth shock was delivered the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and attached a heart monitor only to find out that the man’s pulse had come back after the fourth shock.”
Avinoam continued recounting the dramatic rescue. “After the heart monitor showed us that the man had a pulse, we switched to only providing assisted breathing. After two minutes he began to breathe on his own once again. At that point, he was put in the ambulance and taken to the hospital for further care.”
The CPR had been a success, but the story didn’t end there. On Tuesday, Avinoam went to visit the man whose name he discovered was Yankel. Yankel had been taken to Soroka Hospital and had fully recovered by the afternoon. On Tuesday he was recuperating in the hospital and awaiting a further procedure.
“It was very meaningful for me to go visit with Yankel today,” Avinoam said on Tuesday evening. “It isn’t often that I get to meet with a person whose life I saved and I am thankful that Avinoam is still with us and that I was able to meet with him and tell recount for him what happened.”
Yankel was happy to meet with Avinoam and get the chance to thank him for saving his life. “I don’t remember very much from the incident. I remember feeling a little bit of discomfort and then waking up in the hospital. I was told that Avinoam did CPR on me and saved my life including providing multiple shocks from his defibrillator. I am very thankful to him and so are my wife and two children. I’m waiting to receive a pacemaker here in the hospital and then I hope to be released and go home already on Friday if all goes well. Thank you Avinoam, and all those who helped save my life. I’m happy to be alive.”
To support the lifesaving emergency medical service in Israel work of United Hatzalah volunteers such as Avinoam, please click here: