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Giving an Octogenarian Another Chance At Life
On Saturday night, just before 11:00 p.m., a man in his early eighties was at home on KK”L Street in Petach Tikvah, preparing to go to bed, when he suddenly collapsed. His caretaker, having checked the man for a pulse and finding none, called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteers who lived nearby received the emergency alert and rushed to respond. One of these volunteers was Benjamin Ben Tzur, a secular Israeli from Ramat Gan who happened to be spending the weekend visiting his parents who live two streets over. Benjamin quickly apologized to his parents, dropped what he was doing, and rushed out the door. He got in his car and drove the few blocks to the given address and arrived second at the scene behind a fellow United Hatzalah EMT.
The other EMT had already attached a defibrillator and Benjamin joined him in performing compressions. The pair of first responders continued their efforts and alternated between performing compressions and providing assisted ventilation using an Ambu bag-valve-mask (BVM) and supplemental oxygen. A few moments later they were joined by four other volunteers from United Hatzalah, including a pair of brothers, Yisrael and Avichail Tzairi, and the Deputy Chapter Head of Petach Tikvah, Shai Green.
“I was out together with three other volunteers as a group having just finished responding to a different emergency when we received the alert regarding the unconscious person,” said Shai Green. “We rushed over and arrived in less than three minutes and joined Benjamin in providing CPR. The man had a long medical history and was suffering from a chronic condition.”
Benjamin said, “We were performing CPR for about 15 minutes and were very pleased when the man’s pulse returned. There was no shock given from the defibrillator so his pulse came back as a result of our compressions and assisted ventilation. We manually restarted this man’s heart and that was incredible.”
After the team regained the man’s pulse the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and the man was taken to the Sharon Hospital located down the street for further care and treatment.
“It is a remarkable feeling manually bringing a man’s pulse back and giving them another chance at life,” Ben Tzur said. “I was luckily nearby and able to arrive quickly. Our efforts gave this man another chance at survival. I am thankful to have been able to be a part of that even though I don’t live in the area. But that is what United Hatzalah is all about, dropping whatever you are doing to help those nearby, no matter when or where you are.”
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