At around 2:15 p.m., on Monday, United Hatzalah volunteer Omri Shafts received an urgent notification of an emergency occurring nearby. An 80-year-old man was suffering from a seizure in his home in Nahshon, a kibbutz in central Israel.

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United Hatzalah volunteer EMT with medical kit and defibrillator (illustration)

Omri was working in his home office, so he dutifully rushed to the neighboring home as soon as he got the call. He arrived within 90 seconds to the house and found the unconscious 80-year-old slumped over in a chair, supported upright by his wife. The EMT quickly took over from the frantic woman and lowered the man from the chair onto the floor. After checking the man’s vital signs and finding none, Omri initiated CPR as it seemed the man had suffered a cardiac arrest. 

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, Chezy Rosenbaum, was on his way from Jerusalem to his home in Kiryat Malakhi, at the time of the emergency. Ran David, another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, lives in Moshav Menucha and was on his way to work in Moshav Yesodot. They both received an alert regarding the emergency and immediately changed routes in the direction of the scene. Chezy and Ran arrived at around the same time and got to work assisting Omri in the resuscitation.

After nearly three minutes of performing CPR, the defibrillator that Omri had attached administered an electric shock. Omri continued the compressions without hesitation, and to his delight and surprise, the man’s pulse returned almost immediately. 

Omri connected an oxygen mask and supplied the patient with highly saturated oxygen to assist his breathing as the man began to once again breathe independently. Meanwhile, Ran took the man’s blood pressure and Chezy checked for other crucial vitals. They waited with the patient for an additional 10 minutes until the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and monitored his condition to ensure it remained stable. They then assisted the team in transferring the patient to the ambulance for a quick transport to the hospital.  

After the incident, Omri said, “I was really happy to help the man and be a part of his CPR and I hope he has a speedy and complete recovery.”

“There’s nothing like stopping what one is doing to save a life,” added Ran enthusiastically. “United Hatzalah is amazing in that it gave me the opportunity to do just that today. With its national network of volunteers, I was able to help in just a few minutes even though I was just passing through the area and was nearby when the incident occurred. After just one shock from the defibrillator, the man’s pulse returned. I’m amazed at how quick the CPR was.”

Chezy said, “I’m a pretty active responder for United Hatzalah and have been to many cardiac arrest incidents and been a part of many successful resuscitations. Each time we are successful in restoring life to the patient, it’s a great feeling that nothing else can top.”

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