6 months ago, Yoel Gal-Dor, a paramedic with the Israeli national volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization United Hatzalah, saved the life of his neighbor, Vered Becher. Gal-Dor used a defibrillator to resuscitate Becher. Now Becher is joining United Hatzalah’s efforts to save lives in Israel by donating a similar model of defibrillator to the one that was used to save her life. Becher (48) is a mother to three children and had suffered a heart attack back in February of this year. The heart attack came when she was working out at her local gym. In less than three minutes, Gal-Dor had arrived at the scene and succeeded in reviving her with the help of a defibrillator.

ורד בכר ופרמדיק איחוד הצלה יואל גאל דור 2
Yoel Gal-Dor and Vered Becher holding the defibrillator that Becher donated to United Hatzalah.

“It was my first time at the gym,” recounted Becher. “The class was very intense and as it came to a close I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. I recall that Yoel arrived on his United Hatzalah ambucycle and after that, I don’t recall too much of what happened.” Paramedic Gal-Dor reported that “I was attending my son’s soccer game when I received the call from the United Hatzalah national dispatch center. It was relayed to me that a woman was having terrible pain at a nearby gym. I left everything and raced over. When I arrived, Vered was still conscious, but after just a few moments she suffered a heart attack, lost consciousness, stopped breathing and had no pulse. I began a full resuscitation including attaching a defibrillator. The machine gave her a number of shocks, and thankfully her pulse returned. She was later transferred to the hospital by an intensive care ambulance.” The next day, Gal-Dor went to visit Becher in the hospital. Becher recognized him instantly. “She told me: “You saved me. You came to me on your ambucycle.” I was happy to see that Vered had a speedy recovery.”

Becher’s doctors said at the time that the speed of the response, as well as the resuscitation efforts by Gal-Dor, were what played an instrumental part in saving Becher’s life. Becher has since undergone rehabilitation and has made a full recovery. “Yoel and I kept in touch after the incident,” said Becher. “Later I was thinking how best I could donate to the efforts of United Hatzalah in order to also be a part of saving lives. I wanted to pay forward the good works that they were doing. The organization is full of wonderful people who saved my life and, therefore, I decided, together with a close friend, to donate a defibrillator. This machine will now help other volunteers save the lives of many other people.”

Yoni Rotenberg, the Chapter head of United Hatzalah in Rehovot thanked Becher for her donation and said, “The thing that makes us happiest is seeing Vered alive and well and being able to spend time with her family. That is the real reward for our volunteering.”