On Saturday two weeks ago, United Hatzalah volunteer paramedic Miri Shvimmer together with four volunteer EMTs, Benny Mizrachi, Rachamim Gilboa, Yaakov Yazdi and Lior Eskenasy were each going about their regular Saturday schedules when an emergency alert from United Hatzalah dispatch center shattered the tranquility of the day. “Holon, HaGra Street, 53-year-old is unconscious,” said the dispatcher on the local radio channel alerting them to the emergency.
The volunteers, who are veterans at dropping whatever it is that they are doing to respond to medical emergencies, grabbed their helmets, jumped on their ambucycles and raced to the location of the emergency.
In less than 60 seconds, Benny and Rachamim arrived and began checking the patient’s vital signs only to see that the man was not only unconscious but was also not breathing. They immediately began CPR treatment and attached a defibrillator. The device suggested the administering of an electric shock. The volunteers gave the shock and then continued CPR. At this point, Shvimmer, Eskenasy and Yazdi entered the apartment and joined the CPR efforts. The patient received another six shocks from the defibrillator as well as medical intervention administered by Shvimmer.
Miraculously, the man’s heart started pumping once more and he began breathing on his own. After the patient was transported to the hospital in an intensive care ambulance, the United Hatzalah volunteers wished the family and each other well and went back to their own affairs and schedules. But for these EMS heroes, the story was not over.
Last Friday afternoon, the group of volunteers gathered together once more to pay a visit to the man whose life they had saved. The patient, Edward, together with his family, gladly met with the volunteers who responded and successfully saved Edward’s life.
Edward thanked the volunteers profusely for their intervention and the volunteers themselves began to cry tears of joy at seeing Edward in such good condition. “Saving someone’s life without any neurological damage, especially after they are clinically dead is a highly rare occurrence, one that is all to infrequent in pre-hospital care,” said Shvimmer. “All of us who arrived that day are simply overwhelmed with joy and pride that we were able to help Edward. All of the volunteers who arrived, both from United Hatzalah as well as the ambulance service, worked together in perfect unison in order to help save Edward’s life. Thankfully our efforts paid off.”
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