On Tuesday evening, a man in his 70s was swimming in HaSela Beach in Bat Yam when he suddenly suffered a stroke that caused him to lose consciousness and drown.

On-duty lifeguards noticed the man go under the water and sprang into action, pulling him out from the sea and onto the beach. The lifeguards began CPR and called emergency medical services for additional help.

Avraham Arhon, a United Hatzalah EMT volunteer, was in the middle of an ambulance shift with his wife Liraz, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT in training, and was just a few blocks away from the emergency. Avraham received the proximity alert on his communications device and drove immediately to the scene, arriving just two minutes later.

When Avraham and Liraz got to the scene they joined in the efforts to resuscitate the man. Avraham took over chest compressions while Liraz attached a defibrillator and then initiated assisted ventilation with a bag valve mask (BVM).

A few minutes later, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and joined the effort, opening an IV line, providing medication, and intubating the patient. For a while, the team struggled to restore the man’s pulse and bring him back from the brink of death. Thankfully after approximately 10 minutes, their efforts were rewarded and the man regained a stable pulse. Avraham and Liraz helped the paramedic get the man onto a stretcher and brought him off the beach to the intensive care ambulance so he could be evacuated to the hospital for further care and treatment.

‘’The reason why I followed my husband’s path and became an EMT was due to a very personal incident that transpired when our baby twins celebrated their first birthday,” Liraz explained.” In the middle of the night, the bed sensors alerted us that one of the twins was not breathing. Avraham, who was already an EMT, provided back blows to the baby and saved his life. Later in the hospital, we were told that we were lucky due to the baby bed sensors and an EMT on hand, or else it could have been a tragic case of SIDS. At that moment, I decided to become an EMT and join United Hatzalah as a volunteer to help save other people just like my baby was saved.’’

Avraham added “I became an EMT after I lost my grandmother and mother a few years ago. It was then that I decided I wanted to help people and do everything I could to keep their loved ones safe for as long as possible and save lives wherever I could. I am thankful that today we were successful at doing so, and I am proud that my wife has joined me on this mission.’’