On Tuesday morning at around 8:00 a.m., a woman on the footpath next to Highway 471 in Petach Tikvah suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground, losing consciousness. The woman received a large wound on her chin from the fall which began to bleed profusely. A witness to the scene rushed over to help. She called emergency services and performed guided CPR as they waited for trained medical responders to arrive.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Alex Felsen was in the synagogue during morning prayers when he was alerted to the emergency occurring nearby. He raced outside, jumped into his car, and sped to the scene. He parked as close as possible to the exact location, but the footpath has no vehicular access so he ran the rest of the way there.
After quickly checking for vital signs, Alex relieved the passerby from her CPR efforts and continued the compressions, as the woman was still unconscious, without a pulse, and not breathing. Alex did not have a defibrillator with him, so he waited anxiously for another volunteer to arrive with one in tow. He knew how crucial it was for the situation and for the resuscitation process.
Alex performed continuous rounds of chest compressions until backup, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Sariel Widawsky, arrived a few strenuous moments later. They immediately attached the defibrillator that Sariel brought with him, which almost immediately advised administering a shock. The pair of EMTs worked closely together in an effort to bring the unconscious woman back to life.
Another United Hatzalah volunteer, Dovi Widawsky, Sariel Widawsky’s son, joined the CPR efforts. “When Dovi came to help towards the end of the resuscitation, it made me so happy,” said Sariel enthusiastically, “We succeeded in saving a life together, and that was so special. Nothing makes me more proud than seeing my son help others and follow in my footsteps by volunteering with United Hatzalah.”
Soon after a paramedic arrived in an intensive care ambulance and administered medications. Within 15 minutes from the start of the resuscitation, the woman’s pulse returned and she was transported, intubated and ventilated, to the hospital.
“It’s important for me to note that the defibrillator used today was donated by my brother’s brother-in-law, and I am forever grateful,” said Sariel after the incident, “That machine played such a big role in the resuscitation of the woman today. Please G-d, with that same device I will be able to save many more lives in the future.”
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