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Interrupting Torah Learning To Save A Life
Last Thursday just after 8:00 P.M., a man in his 80s suffered a cardiac arrest in the Misgav Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem. Because the hospital currently operates as a clinic and lacks the essential equipment and staff to handle such cases, the personnel promptly notified emergency services.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Matan Shnir was learning Torah with his two children in the hospital’s beit midrash when he received the call on his communications device. Realizing that the emergency was in the building, Matan apologized to his children and ran out of the beit midrash. The volunteer quickly located the room and assessed the situation, recognizing from the patient’s agonal breathing that he was suffering cardiac arrest.
The EMT promptly initiated CPR and instructed the personnel to begin chest compressions while he obtained one of the clinic’s defibrillators and attached it to the man’s chest. The group of medical practitioners continued to perform chest compressions and provide assisted ventilation to the patient for approximately five minutes until the defibrillator recommended administering a shock.
Following the successful delivery of the shock, the man’s pulse was restored. A sense of relief filled the room as an ambulance team arrived at the scene and transported the patient to the hospital for further treatment.
Matan later reflected on the incident and said: “Helping to save a life is always very rewarding. Even though the Torah learning with my children was interrupted, my children know that I often have to drop everything to save lives and I think it teaches them an important life lesson.”
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