At around 7:00 a.m. on Thursday morning a 71-year-old man lost consciousness outside of a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and collapsed on the sidewalk. Members of the synagogue who were in the middle of morning prayers called emergency services for help.
Two United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs from the organization’s Women’s Unit were in their homes nearby and received the alert. The first volunteer EMT to arrive at the scene, Pnina Adas, was woken from the sounds of her blaring communication device, alerting her to the emergency taking place nearby. Pnina immediately rushed out of her house to help.
Pnina parked her car right outside the shul just three minutes after receiving the alert and ran inside, looking for the unconscious man. A man standing inside the shul brought her out to where the man was lying on the sidewalk. Someone was performing CPR, trying to revive the unconscious 71-year-old.
Pnina crouched down and took over the chest compressions from the kind man while she instructed him to swap out the shul’s defibrillator for the one in her United Hatzalah medical kit.
A few minutes later, an intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene and the EMTs aided Pnina with the CPR efforts. United Hatzalah EMT Joelle Cohen arrived soon after. “The team was already performing CPR and ventilating the patient, but I still joined the effort in order to help as needed.”
Five minutes after Joelle joined the effort, the patient’s pulse returned and he started to breathe on his own. “It was amazing how the patient was resuscitated without any adrenaline or other medications, just simple CPR,” said Pnina happily.
The EMTs assisted in transferring the patient onto the stretcher and into the ambulance to be transported to the hospital for further care.
After the incident, Pnina said, “The man who initiated CPR had attached a defibrillator from the shul and was performing chest compressions. It was obvious that he wasn’t experienced with performing CPR. However, he told me that he had administered an electric shock from the defibrillator, which could be the very reason the patient’s life was saved.”
Joelle added, “Just being at the scene of an emergency, even if you aren’t the main EMT assisting, always leaves a person with a feeling of happiness from witnessing a life-saving event. This is especially true now with the holiday of Pesach coming, which is a time of redemption and salvation; I felt as if G-d had sent us volunteers as angels to help save this man and to redeem him. He was miraculously brought back into this world.
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