On Monday night at 11:24 p.m., a couple was celebrating their wedding in Modi’in Illit when the groom’s grandfather suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed in the middle of the hall. On that same street, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Neoray Ben David was resting on the couch in his home when he woke to the sound of his communication device alerting him to the emergency. Neoray grabbed his medical bag, threw on his vest, and rushed down to his car.

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United Hatzalah volunteers responding to an emergency (Illustration)

Neoray arrived at the scene in under a minute and a half together with volunteers Aryeh Hershler and Leib Mor. The three EMTs rushed into the hall to find a crowd of confused guests and a frantic bride and groom and an unconscious 70-year-old man. Neoray asked someone to bring the defibrillator provided by the wedding hall, and the three launched into full-blown CPR.


As the defibrillator quickly arrived, one volunteer attached the defibrillator pads while Neoray and the other had begun administering chest compressions and assisted breathing. Once the defibrillator advised a shock, one was administered, and the compressions continued.


After a second shock from the defibrillator, additional medical personnel and first responders began arriving at the scene along with an ambulance. The CPR continued for a few minutes. Then suddenly, the man’s pulse returned. As the 70-year-old was being loaded onto the mobile intensive care ambulance that had arrived, he even began to regain consciousness. 


After the man was safely on his way to the hospital, the several volunteers that had gathered at the emergency stayed to dance with the bride and groom, whose parents had gone to the hospital with the grandfather. After a chaotic scene of CPR and confusion, happiness was restored to the wedding by the very volunteers who had just saved the man’s life. 


“It was such a heartwarming ending,” commented Neoray. “We not only ended up saving the life of the groom’s grandfather, but we saved the joy of the wedding as well. The mitzvah of celebrating with a bride and groom on their wedding day is so important, and we made sure to lift the mood after ensuring that the man was safe and recovering. We may have been unconventional party crashers, but we were able to bring joy to the newly married couple and save a life at the same time.” 

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