This story begins on Friday, July 19th, 2019, at 6:45 AM. United Hatzalah volunteer Eilon Lubiner, who worked on a farm for youth at risk, had just finished milking the goats. The early morning quiet, normally punctuated only by quaint animal sounds, was suddenly disrupted by the crackle of Eilon’s United Hatzalah communication device that alerted him to a serious car accident with multiple victims. The dedicated volunteer quickly jumped into his car and sped off towards the scene near the Good Samaritan junction. Eilon left his farm at the Mishom Adumim junction and arrived in just over 3 minutes.
Eilon was the first responder on-site and quickly surveyed the wreckage. Hearing a faint cry from the car, Eilon leaned into the vehicle finding only one survivor with signs of life. The veteran EMT, seeing that the victim was trapped by the mangled metal, caringly told him “I’m a medic and here to help you. Tell me what hurts you?” The young man replied that he felt an extremely sharp pain in his arm and that he was bleeding heavily from the limb.
The experienced medic quickly removed his Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) from his medical kit and readied it for use. Fortunately, a minute later a special rescue unit arrived which happened to be led by Eilon’s father, an experienced officer in the Israeli Fire Department. The crew rapidly cut away the side of the car and extricated the victim, whose arm was nearly completely severed. As the patient was transferred from father to son, he lost consciousness. Eilon, together with another medic, swiftly and proficiently applied the CAT, stopping the lethal blood flow and effectively saving the young man’s life. An intensive care ambulance crew arrived and the paramedic administered pain relief drugs. A few minutes later the man regained consciousness and was whisked away to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital for emergency microsurgery.
The following week, Eilon contacted the man’s parents and was pleased to hear that the surgery was successful and that the doctors were hopeful that the young man would regain the full use of his arm. Meanwhile, Eli Beer, the founder and President of United Hatzalah, had received an email from his good friend Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld. The Rabbi related to Eli that he was in Mt. Scopus hospital with his grandson Elad who had survived a horrible car accident that took the lives of 2 of his friends.
Shortly afterward, Eli, together with Eilon’s father who had led the extrication team, visited Elad in the hospital. The Friday after the accident, Eilon also visited Elad in the hospital. It was an emotional visit between the two previous strangers who now felt the deep bond between survivor and lifesaver. Eilon also met Elad’s grateful parents who, at a loss for words, simply embraced the United Hatzalah volunteer who had literally saved their son’s life and limb.
Eilon kept tabs on Elad and visited him every couple of weeks and also got regular updates from his parents. “It was incredibly moving for me to get these updates from his parents to see how he was coming along especially after having seen him at the beginning. Every time or my father went to visit him, we shook his left hand to see how he was coming along and whether he was able to move it,” Eilon said.
11 months later the family showed their gratitude by donating a specialized ambucycle to United Hatzalah just for Eilon. “The ambucycle is uniquely outfitted for the terrain in the Judean desert where I live and work. It is a motorcycle that can ride both on the roads as well as on sandy and difficult terrain. I work in areas where the only way to get there is with dirt roads. We also have a lot of search and rescue operations on the hills and mountains of the Judean desert and a regular motorcycle would not be able to traverse the difficult terrain.”
“It was so moving for me to see him on his feet, fully healed at the site of the accident. Seeing his whole family at the dedication event, really brought the message home to me that when we save a person we really do save an entire world. I am incredibly thankful to the family for donating this ambucycle to the organization. I will use and endeavor to save as many lives as I can.”
Elad wished to thank Eilon for all of his help. “I hope that the motorcycle which my family was able to donate to United Hatzalah for Eilon will help him save others as he saved me. It is a small thing that we could do to help him in his efforts, far smaller than what he did for me. He is truly an amazing human being.”
Elad’s father Ra’anan spoke about why the family decided to make the donation to United Hatzalah and why they wanted this specialized ambucycle to go to Eilon. “We met Eilon and his wife Emunah in the waiting room at Hadassah Ein Kerem’s intensive care unit just a few days after Elad’s accident. The meeting was very powerful for us. Eilon described each minute of what happened for Elad after the accident until he was rescued and taken by ambulance to Har HaTzofim hospital. We were very emotional and moved to tears. We hugged Eilon and a connection quickly developed between him and our family that is difficult to describe in words.
A few weeks later we were asked to speak at the WMA Synagogue in London for the Kol Nidre address. The address has been slated to be a fundraising drive for United Hatzalah even before the accident took place, but after the dramatic rescue of Eilon, the Shul’s Rabbi, who is also my father-in-law and Elad’s grandfather, asked us to speak about the rescue itself. To help raise money during Kol Nidre in support of United Hatzalah is something we were happy to do. We asked the Kehilla that the donation be made specifically for a new heavy-duty ambucycle for Eilon. My family and I thank Hashem for giving us this opportunity to say thank you and to recognize the gift that Eilon and United Hatzalah gave to us.”
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