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Man Suffers Cardiac Arrest in Gur Beit Midrash, Is Saved By Nearby First Responders
On Thursday morning, just before 9 A.M., a man in his 60s experienced a sudden cardiac arrest during Torah study in the Gur beit midrash in Jerusalem. A person with medical training immediately initiated CPR and alerted emergency services.
Yisrael Litzman, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and a Gur Chasid himself happened to be near the entrance to the beit midrash when he was informed about the emergency. Despite not having medical equipment on him, Litzman quickly entered the building and retrieved the defibrillator available within the facility to initiate life-saving measures. He promptly attached it to the patient and, following the device’s recommendation administered a shock before initiating chest compressions.
Meanwhile, Meir Nachum Zender, also a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, received an urgent call from dispatch while being just three buildings away from the scene. Zender raced to the Beit Midrash, equipped with a bag valve mask and other necessary medical equipment, ready to provide additional assistance.
Together, Litzman and Zender worked diligently, administering three rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilation without further defibrillation indicated by the device. More first responders arrived at the scene to assist in the resuscitation attempt. After a nerve-wracking effort, a pulse was eventually detected, albeit irregular in nature, indicating some signs of improvement.
A few minutes later, an intensive care ambulance arrived on-site, providing advanced life support measures to further stabilize the patient’s condition. Astonishingly, not only did the man’s pulse return, but the man regained consciousness at the scene as well. Due to his lack of recollection of what happened, he even asked the first responders at the scene, “What do you want from me?”
Later reflecting on the incident, Zender expressed his emotions, stating, “It’s an incredible feeling, and I’m grateful to have been able to contribute to saving a life, especially within the same beit midrash where I previously assisted in a similar situation last Purim.”
Litzman also shared his feelings, saying, “I am elated. It’s a rare privilege to successfully revive someone who suffers from cardiac arrest, and the feeling it gives a first responder is incredible.”
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