On Sunday, February 23rd, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yossi Vaknin was eating breakfast at his home in Migdal HaEmek when he received an emergency alert on his phone and was dispatched to help a 30-year-old woman with diabetes who had collapsed at her parent’s residence.

Yossi immediately ran outside to his ambucycle and raced to the address, knowing that when he gets there he will do everything he can until this woman is breathing again. He flew past traffic to reach the scene in a mere 60 seconds. Another United Hatzalah medic joined him on location to assist with the rescue.

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Yossi Vaknin

As soon as he arrived at the scene the patient’s mother waved Yossi over to her daughter, who lay motionless on her bed with no sign of consciousness. Yossi noticed that the patient recently had her leg amputated due to her diabetes and seeing this he knew that he had to do everything he could to make sure the patient didn’t lose her life as well. Both medics moved the unconscious patient to the floor and immediately attached a defibrillator. They began performing compressions and carried on with a full-blown CPR. Within three minutes of being there, another three United Hatzalah volunteers joined them and immediately started helping. For 15 minutes, the team worked to save the woman’s life but during this entire time, no shocks were advised.

The team strenuously continued with manual CPR until a mobile intensive care ambulance crew arrived. Despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation, Yossi and his team refused to give up. Finally, after an hour of exhausting efforts and CPR, the responders succeeded in restoring the patient’s pulse and breathing. The woman was stabilized, loaded onto the ambulance and was rushed to the hospital for further care.

Yossi spoke about how it felt when they finally succeeded to bring the woman’s pulse back. “It was an indescribable satisfaction. All of us worked as a team and did everything we could in order to bring the woman’s pulse back and we succeeded. If we hadn’t gotten there when we did this woman wouldn’t be here with us today.”

Just a few days later Yossi received a phone call and was thrilled to hear that the woman had ‘returned to herself’ in the hospital, regaining full consciousness. The doctors said if he hadn’t gotten there so quickly she wouldn’t be here today. She is now on the way to a full recovery and is receiving the critical follow-up care she needs.

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