On Friday at around 5:10 p.m., during the evening prayer service, a 47-year-old man lost consciousness and collapsed onto the floor of the synagogue in Karnei Shomron. Two men davening in the shul, a congregant with EMT training and a former paramedic, immediately rushed over to the man when they heard the commotion. They connected the man to the defibrillator from the synagogue’s medical kit and started compressions. The patient’s wife and children stayed alongside him anxiously and nervously.
Another congregant found a phone and called emergency services for help as the other congregates respectfully exited the synagogue. They all recited Tehillim together while they waited to hear the news of their friend.
United Hatzalah volunteer Doctor Yaakov Seligman, received the notification of the emergency from dispatch while he, too, was in the middle of his prayers. Yaakov ran over and arrived in under two minutes.
Upon his arrival, Yaakov continued the resuscitation efforts with the first responders. After two minutes of chest compressions, a shock from the defibrillator was administered and after an additional 2 minutes, the man’s pulse returned. He started to breathe independently a few moments later.
United Hatzalah volunteer Paramedic Oren Fadida arrived at the scene after he rushed over from the shul he was davening at and joined the lifesaving group. They performed all the necessary routine checkups, fitted the patient with an oxygen mask, and administered liquids and medicine through an IV.
When Oren connected his EKG device, they realized that the cause of the heart attack was seemingly a sudden blockage in one of the arteries around the heart. The group then prepared the patent for transport to the hospital. On the way to the ambulance, the man suddenly regained full consciousness.
“I usually try not to look at the patient’s face, but for some reason, I did this time,” said Oren as he reflected on the incident. “I immediately recognized him and realized that he was my close friend of many years. It makes the incident much more stressful when it’s closer to home.”
“Then, when he finally came through, and the first words out of his mouth were, ‘Oren, what are you doing here?’, I was shocked. It was chilling and very emotional. I responded that he shouldn’t worry because he is in good hands and is going to the hospital.”
Immediately upon entering the hospital, the patient went through an immediate cardiac catheterization.
After Shabbat, Yaakov received information from the doctor that the immediate medical response from the EMTs and the use of the defibrillator saved the man’s life. The patient is currently in the hospital for additional checkups and supervision but is doing well.
Yaakov said, “It was truly an honor and a privilege to be part of the lifesaving. This man means a lot to our community and is a great friend. We should only be so fortunate to experience more miracles like this.”
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