Late Monday morning, a 50-year-old woman entered a shoe store in the Rehovot shopping center when she suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed, prompting bystanders to call emergency services for help.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Aviran Sason was working in the Rehovot Municipality offices located beneath the shopping center when he received the alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. Analyzing that his close proximity to the scene meant he would be more useful by arriving at the location as early as possible, Aviran made the split-second decision to run directly to the store rather than waste precious seconds by getting his emergency equipment from his vehicle which was parked further away.

United Hatzalah ambulance in Rechovot
United Hatzalah ambulance in Rehovot

Upon arriving at the scene, he found the woman not breathing and without a pulse, and immediately initiated CPR. While performing chest compressions on the woman, he shouted to the security guard to swiftly bring the mall’s defibrillator. After the device was attached and one shock was administered, additional first responders started arriving at the scene.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Moshe Mizrahi was one of them. He had received the alert while on his way to his workplace and rushed to the scene. Moshe, Aviran, and the other first responders who took turns performing compressions, provided the woman with assisted ventilation, opened an intravenous line to administer fluids, and administered shocks from the defibrillator when it was recommended. Their efforts caused the woman’s pulse to return intermittently. “The fact that Aviran had arrived and started CPR so quickly saved this woman’s life,” Moshe recounted. After 40 minutes of continuous CPR and 7 shocks, the woman was finally stabilized enough for transport. She was evacuated by an intensive care ambulance to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot where she was admitted in serious but stable condition.

Aviran reflected: “Although saving someone’s life brings a real sense of satisfaction, this is not what motivates me. I was at the right place at the right time and I did what I was supposed to do. I am glad that this woman is alive and in stable condition.”

“The experience of knowing someone survived after you’ve performed CPR on them is something that cannot be described,” Moshe concluded. “Only those who have lived it can understand its meaning.”

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