Last Tuesday, Talia Brauer and Tina Berkowitz, two United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs from the town of Ein Hod, which is located in a remote area of the Hof HaCarmel region, saved the life of one of their neighbors. The incident occurred when Talia received a phone call from a woman who lives nearby alerting Talia that the woman’s husband was feeling ill. Talia dropped what she was doing and rushed over to the person’s house. When she arrived, she found the man had already collapsed. He had suffered a heart attack and was in the middle of a VF (ventricular fibrillation). He had no pulse and was not breathing.
Tina, who also lives in the neighborhood, received the alert from United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center and also rushed over to the address. Talia had begun CPR by the time that Tina arrived so Tina immediately attached a defibrillator to the patient.
“The man is my neighbor. I see him all the time,” said Tina. “He was lying pulseless on his floor. I attached a defibrillator to him and after receiving one shock, he woke up. Not only did he regain a pulse, he even regained consciousness. It was like you see it on TV and it rarely happens in real life,” Tina exclaimed. “The man is in his 60’s and still has some children living with him. He has a history of cardiac issues. I am so thankful that God sent him back to us. He woke up after one shock and the first thing he asked was ‘where are my children?’”. As the pair waited for the ambulance to arrive, Tina went to console the wife and children and explain what had happened in the hopes that it would help them calm down. “Everything will be alright now,” she reassured them. Talia, the other medic, continued to treat the patient and made sure that he was stable until the ambulance arrived.
Talia spoke about her part in the dramatic rescue. “When I arrived, the man was semi-conscious. Together with his wife, I lowered him off of his chair and onto the floor and a few seconds later he was unconscious. I began CPR and asked his wife to attach the defibrillator but she panicked. Tina arrived and attached the defibrillator and a few seconds after we delivered one shock, the man revived. When he came back he looked at me and said; “Thank you for saving my life.” I told him. “The whole town still needs you. It isn’t your time to go.”
The patient, who wished to remain anonymous, thanked Talia and Tina for saving his life. “When I felt ill, I knew that I was suffering a heart attack. I’ve had them before. I went into my house, chewed some aspirin, told my wife to call Talia who is on the rescue team of the town, and who I know is a United Hatzalah volunteer, and as soon as I was done drinking the water with my aspirin, I collapsed. The next thing I knew, Talia and Tina were leaning over me and I woke up with a defibrillator attached to me. I want to thank Talia, Tina, and United Hatzalah, for being there for me and saving my life. The fact that Talia had a defibrillator on her was what saved me because a person doesn’t come back from ventricular fibrillation without a defibrillator.”