On Monday evening, just after 5:00 p.m., a man in his 60s was taking a walk on Jerusalem Street in Petach Tikvah in order to get some exercise. The man began to feel weak and stopped his walk to catch his breath. Just then, his heart gave out and he collapsed. Worried passersby, seeing the collapsed man, called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center received the alert and dispatched the closest volunteers to the emergency. Volunteer EMT and ambulance driver Menachem Slovatizky was just returning from responding to a different medical emergency when he received the alert regarding the collapsed man. Menachem was driving with his wife in an ambulance belonging to the Rafael Ambulance company, which is part of the Union of Ambulances that works in partnership with United Hatzalah. Flicking on his sirens, Menachem quickly changed directions and drove as quickly and safely as possible to the scene of the emergency.
Menachem arrived less than two minutes later and found that United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Eliyah Tzairi was already on scene and had attached a defibrillator to the collapsed man. Menachem joined Eliyah and began preparing the oxygen to administer to the patient as Eliyah had begun compressions. Soon after, the man received his first shock from the defibrillator, as additional EMS personnel arrived including five other United Hatzalah responders.
“I told my wife to start saying Tehillim as she stayed in the ambulance while I rushed out to help Eliyah. I prepared the airway, attached the oxygen mask to the tank, and began administering high-flow oxygen as Eliyah was working on compressions. After two minutes the defibrillator administered its first shock and we switched positions. As other volunteer first responders arrived we all worked in unison to try and revive the man. Slowly he started to recover.”
Menachem continued, “After the second shock, the man registered a pulse and began to resist the airway. We administered two more shocks and that is when the man’s pulse came back for good. He regained his pulse and began to breathe on his own. We stopped CPR, removed the airway, and kept supplying oxygen through a non-rebreather mask. After 15 minutes the man regained full consciousness, opened his eyes, and even began trying to talk in a confused manner.”
Menachem was shocked to see how quickly the man regained consciousness. “I have been volunteering for many years with United Hatzalah and I have done a lot of CPRs. It is very rare that a person recovers that quickly and comes back to full consciousness while I’m still with them. It is a truly special feeling that fills me with warmth. It is certainly worth all the time and effort I put in as a volunteer just for one instance such as this. I like to think that my wife’s prayers assisted us in our efforts, and perhaps that is why this man recovered so quickly. Just when he woke up, the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived, so we prepped the man for transport and he was taken to the hospital in stable condition. It was simply a miracle, from beginning to end.”
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