Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
EMT Yoav Shemaryahu with Hila Meuda and her new husband Roey.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yoav Shemaryahu from Rosh Ha’ayin was called to a medical emergency in his neighborhood last Passover, where he encountered a young woman in the shower, fully dressed and crying. Yoav inquired what had happened and the woman, Hila Meuda, replied that she had been heating up wax in the microwave and when she opened the door the bowl of boiling wax exploded on her face and her arms causing her second-degree burns.

Yoav saw that there was wax that had attached itself to her skin and was not coming off with water.


“Hila told me that she had been preparing to go out to the mall to meet up with friends but her night was ruined when she suffered second-degree burns to her face and hands because of the wax. She was hysterical, thinking no one would want to be her friend any longer and her social life was be over because she would have scars,” Yoav recalled.

“I work in Ichilov hospital, in the orthopedic ward, and I have seen burn victims many times. I began to treat her and calm her down, the whole time helping her to remove the wax slowly in a way that wouldn’t exacerbate the burns that she had suffered. Neither the young woman nor her mother wanted her to go to the hospital, so they refused the ambulance when one arrived. I stayed with her and helped her with immediate first aid treatment and her mother contacted a burn specialist she knew, to arrange for further treatment.”

“More than a year has passed since the event, and last week I received an unexpected phone call,” Yoav related. “I answered the phone and the voice on the other side said, ‘Hello, my name is Hila, last year you treated me for burns. I wanted to say thank you and invite you to my wedding.’ I was shocked. I respond to hundreds of emergencies and rarely do I reconnect with the people I helped. It is very special whenever someone reaches out like this. I felt obligated to attend, especially as she invited me now when the number of people who can attend a wedding is strictly limited.”

The wedding took place last Wednesday, with a small crowd—in compliance with coronavirus restrictions, and it was an emotional evening for Yoav: “I was so happy to be there and see Hila smiling and looking beautiful on her wedding night.”

Hila recounted the events of that night, more than a year before: “After the wax exploded, my mother rushed me into the shower. I remember screaming in pain and then, less than a minute later, Yoav was there, calming me down and helping me. He spent hours with m,e taking all the burning wax off of my skin so that the burns would heal properly. He responded so quickly, long before the ambulance, and stayed for a long time afterward, helping me. I wanted to say thank you to Yoav and to United Hatzalah, so I invited Yoav to my wedding. I hope that Yoav and United Hatzalah keep doing the amazing work that they are doing for many years to come. I am very thankful to Yoav and I am happy that he was able to come and attend my wedding and take pictures with me and my new husband Roey.”