Thursday evening in front of Tel Aviv University, a car came to an abrupt stop, obstructing traffic. The drivers in the cars behind the stopped vehicle discovered that the driver of the stopped car had lost consciousness. They quickly alerted emergency services.

In a nearby college, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shalom Cohen was immersed in last-minute exam preparations. A call from his lecturer, who had witnessed the incident and knew of Cohen’s medical training, alerted him about the incident.

The volunteer rushed to his car, navigated through the intense evening traffic of Tel Aviv, and arrived at the scene in under three minutes. A coordinated effort by a first responder and bystanders without medical equipment had begun to take place. The group was performing chest compressions on the man who had been taken out of his vehicle by the bystanders. Joining the rescue effort with a full medical kit, Cohen took out his defibrillator and attached it to the patient’s chest. A moment later an electric shock was administered.

After another round of chest compressions, Cohen, together with the other first responder re-evaluated the patient’s vital signs. With a weak but palpable radial pulse, the patient opened his eyes. The pair, relieved, checked for other vitals, and provided assisted ventilation until the patient reached a normal oxygen saturation level. They continued providing care, monitoring heart rate and oxygen saturation to ensure he remained stable.

After 15 intense minutes, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene. The first responders handed over a now conscious patient to the intensive care team, who took charge of the patient’s ongoing care and transported him to the hospital for definitive care in stable condition.

“Administering a shock with my defibrillator and witnessing the patient regain consciousness for the first time is an incredible feeling,” Cohen shared after the incident. “It took me a while to calm down after but I nevertheless managed to make it to my exam and even pass it with flying colors.”