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Were You The Man Who Saved My Son’s Life?
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Levi Yitzchak Ben David, originally from Union City, New Jersey, lives with his family in Tzefat. He works as a caterer and is often seen around the city rushing to help people suffering from medical emergencies. He has been one of the most active volunteers in the northern Israeli city for the past 15 years a volunteer.
Two weeks ago, Levi visited the gravesite of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada located in the neighboring village of Birya. Just as he was entering the compound, he spotted a young man with a disability being led into the site by his parents. The father asked Levi to grab a few prayer books from the car as he was supporting his son. A few minutes later, the mother discreetly approached Levi and asked him, “Is that your ambucycle outside? My son was in a serious car accident half-a-year-ago near the municipal soccer fields. His life was saved by a United Hatzalah volunteer. I’ve been looking to find the volunteer so that I can thank him.”
Glancing again at the young man, Levi found himself going back in time to that early October afternoon. A motorcycle had been struck by a truck on a narrow windy descent, its two riders were thrown through the air before landing on the hard asphalt some 50 meters apart from one another. Levi had been nearby when United Hatzalah dispatchers alerted him to the harrowing accident. Without hesitation, he raced to the scene on his ambucycle, arriving alongside a fellow United Hatzalah volunteer EMT.
Both of the motorcycle riders had sustained severe traumatic injuries to multiple systems in their bodies. Among their other injuries, both were suffering from blocked airways. The EMTs split up. Levi treated a young man who lay face down on the road and his colleague began treating a female rider who was moaning in pain. Levi asked a passerby to assist him in turning the victim over so he could provide treatment and hopefully get the young man breathing again. Placed on his back, the patient started to breathe on his own, although quite faintly.
As additional volunteers arrived, Levi administered oxygen to stabilize the young man’s breathing, bandaged his wounds, and applied a neck brace for C-spine stabilization, he then took vitals and monitored the boy’s condition until an ambulance could arrive.
With the arrival of ambulances, the United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs assisted in loading the victims aboard the emergency vehicles which whisked them to nearby Ziv Medical Center for further treatment. Within minutes, the clamor of the accident scene had dissipated, and Levi was left to gather his equipment, uncertain of his patient’s fate.
Looking at the boy, Levi grasped how momentous his actions had been. “I remember,” Levi told the woman. “I got there on the very ambucycle that you see outside. I’m the medic who saved your son’s life.” Growing emotional, the woman called her son over to meet and thank his ‘Angel in Orange’.
This young man’s second chance at life was due to the quick medical intervention that he received at the scene provided by Levi and the rest of the EMS teams, as well as the hospital staff who continued the treatment that Yitzchak began. “ill forever remember this story,” Levi said. “Part of being a first responder means that we drop whatever we are doing to rush out and save others. Rarely do we get to see the results of our work. I am thankful that I got the opportunity to do so today. The satisfaction the I received from meeting him goes beyond words. It fills me with such joy that I simply cannot explain it.”
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