On Friday afternoon, a 73-year-old Ramla resident with severe chronic medical issues sat down for lunch when he unexpectedly began choking. An alarmed family member called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. Volunteer EMT Eveyasaf Shiri was on his way to visit his mother when his communications device alerted him to the incident. Eveyasaf quickly turned around and raced to the given address.

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Eveyasaf taking part in United Hatzalah’s Tetris Challenge, 2019

Upon arriving, just three minutes later, a hysterical neighbor approached Eveyasaf, yelling that the man had died. Eveyasaf quickly grabbed his medical kit and ran up the stairs of the apartment building.

Finding the choking man on the ground, Eveyasaf began efforts to extricate the piece of food. After successfully expunging the blockage, the man suddenly lost consciousness and his heart stopped. Eveyasaf radioed back to dispatch that he was beginning CPR and asked for additional volunteers and an ICU ambulance to be sent.

Oren Cohen was a kilometer away from the incident, delivering a medical kit to a volunteer who had just finished her training when he was alerted to the address. Arriving alongside a mobile intensive care ambulance (MICU), Oren joined in the CPR efforts.

Eveyasaf had begun chest compressions and assisted breathing before the team arrived. The MICU crew attached a heart monitor but it did not advise a shock. After 20 minutes of CPR efforts, the man’s pulse returned, and he soon started breathing again. The 73-year-old was taken to the nearest hospital and the volunteers returned home after a successful CPR.

“With everything going on in our country right now, amidst this global pandemic, we are constantly being put to the test. We are living in a world where our actions can affect another’s life,” said Eveyasaf. “As we can see, we have sadly been failing at this test and as a country, we are unable to escape this terrible Coronavirus era. However, in spite of this discouraging fact, when I am volunteering, and see teams of people coming together to save a stranger’s life, my hope and admiration for my country are restored. To be part of a successful CPR, and return a life that was about to be lost, amidst a pandemic that is taking so many lives is truly a miracle to me. I am so grateful to be part of such an establishment.”

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