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The Lifesaving Power of Prayer and A Quick Response
Tuesday just after midnight in the community of Givon HaYeshana near Jerusalem, a man in his fifties started complaining of chest pains and requested his relatives call an ambulance.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raziel Sade was at his house when his communications device beeped, alerting him about the emergency in the close vicinity. The first responder ran out to his car and just 15 seconds later, Raizel was already in front of the patient’s house. As he came inside, the volunteer found the quinquagenarian on the floor. “Relatives told me the man had said he needed to lie down and suddenly collapsed,” the volunteer relayed after the incident. “When I got there he was still breathing slightly, but moments later he went into cardiac arrest and all breathing ceased.”
The EMT took out his medical equipment including an AED and a bag valve mask (BVM) in order to immediately initiate the resuscitation protocol. He attached his defibrillator which advised a shock. “After the first shock, I performed chest compressions for two minutes, before the defibrillator evaluated the heart rate again and advised another shock.” Meanwhile, more first responders began making their way to the scene to take part in the resuscitation effort, including United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Oshrat Mualem, who started assisting the EMTs at the scene. “After the second shock and round of chest compressions, the defibrillator recommended checking the patient’s pulse,” she recounted after the incident. “We were all incredibly relieved when we saw that his pulse was restored.”
Raziel added: “I continued providing the patient with assisted ventilation until I felt resistance as the man began to breathe on his own. A paramedic arrived at the scene and together we shook the man gently, prompting him to regain full consciousness and he even began to talk. After the man said he was still suffering from chest pains, the paramedic administered medication to ease the pain.”
Meanwhile, Oshrat noticed that the man’s relatives, who had witnessed the whole scene, were in distress and in need of immediate assistance. The man’s two sons were on the verge of fainting. She brought them to the yard so they could breathe fresh air and stabilized them, explaining to them that their father was now conscious after suffering cardiac arrest, which was very rare and a positive sign and that they were preparing to transfer him to the ambulance.
“At this point, they asked to recite Tehilim (psalms) with me in order to pray for their father’s full recovery. I recited the verses and the whole family repeated after me,” Oshrat recounted. “It was a very emotional moment. I am still shaken from this story but I was relieved to hear that the man is now in good condition.”
When the intensive care ambulance arrived, the volunteers updated the crew and the patient was transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for further treatment.
“This incident was particularly emotional for me since I know the patient very well and he is like a father to me,” Raziel concluded. “Thankfully, I visited him in the hospital later this morning and he is in good condition and recovering after undergoing successful cardiac catheterization. It’s an amazing feeling.”
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