On Monday night, a 3-year-old child suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed at Ashdod Yam Park. The incident unfolded just before 11 P.M., prompting a frantic call to emergency services by the child’s distressed parents.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raphael Alima happened to be present at the park with his own family when he received the alert about the unconscious child. Alima instructed his own children to fetch the necessary medical equipment from his nearby car while he ran in the direction that was communicated to him by the dispatcher. Upon reaching the scene, some 20 seconds later, Raphael found the child lying unconscious on the ground, while a concerned passerby was already performing chest compressions.
Alima assessed the child’s vital signs, confirming the state of cardiac arrest, and then took over performing compressions. He was joined a minute later by another volunteer EMT, Zeev Kashash, who also happened to be in the park. Kashash began performing assisted ventilation and then attached a defibrillator. After quickly analyzing the patient, the device recommended a shock, which was administered by the volunteers. The pair then switched positions and continued their resuscitation efforts, alternating between compressions and assisted ventilation while more first responders converged on the scene to take part in the effort.
Just two minutes after the defibrillator administered the shock, the child’s pulse returned and stabilized. The team of first responders continued administering oxygen and assisted ventilation to help the child breathe until the arrival of a mobile intensive care ambulance several minutes later. The child was then transported to a nearby hospital for continuing medical care and intervention. On Tuesday morning, the child regained consciousness and began to interact with his surroundings and is now on the road to recovery.
“I’m so glad I got there as quickly as I did,” shared United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raphael Alima after the incident. “It was inspiring to me to see how everyone worked so smoothly together in an effort to save this young boy’s life. All the first responders were in sync and we did all that we could to make sure that this boy survived. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to make a difference and now we’re seeing the results of how effective early intervention can be. It’s an amazing feeling bringing someone, especially a kid, back from the brink of death. I’m hoping and praying that he will continue to get better and make a full recovery with God’s help.”