In a dramatic rescue in the Ramat Hadar neighborhood in Givat Shmuel on a Sunday afternoon, a 78-year-old man’s life was saved thanks to the quick actions of United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yuda Widawsky and his team. The man’s neighbors became concerned when they couldn’t reach him for over a day, prompting them to call emergency services.
When Yuda Widawsky received the alert, he was doing his taxes. Without hesitation, he set aside the paperwork, rushed to his rapid response vehicle, and sped to the given address. He explained that the alert he received raised suspicions of a serious situation, though most calls tend to be for minor medical issues.
Upon arrival just moments later, Widawsky noticed that the patient’s car was in the driveway, suggesting that he was indeed at home. However, there was no response when he knocked on the door or rang the bell. This raised alarm bells for Widawsky, who promptly called a locksmith to help gain access to the residence.
Upon entering the apartment, Yuda made a startling discovery: the elderly man was trapped in the bathroom, seemingly for a day. He had fallen and was wedged between the door and the sink cabinet. At first glance, the patient appeared lifeless due to his pallor and lack of responsiveness. However, Widawsky, after calling for backup and a Mobile Intensive Care Unit, conducted a secondary assessment and detected faint, albeit weak, breathing. The patient’s head had become wedged between the door and the sink during his fall, causing severe pressure on his head.
To free the patient from this perilous situation, Widawsky and the locksmith collaborated to dismantle the bathroom door, relieving the pressure and allowing the man’s blood to circulate properly. However, due to the patient’s size and weakness, Yuda couldn’t move him alone. He had to wait for additional responders to arrive and assist in relocating the man to a more suitable area for treatment.
United Hatzalah volunteers EMT Antony Wilik and EMT trainee Aviel Eddie arrived just minutes after Widawsky. Together, they carefully removed the patient from the bathroom, placing him on his back in a supine position to facilitate his breathing. Although unconscious when Yuda first arrived, the patient began responding to pain and, gradually, to verbal commands. However, his condition remained unstable, characterized by very low blood pressure and shallow breathing. The EMTs administered initial treatment for multi-system trauma before transporting the patient to the hospital for further care.
A neighbor who witnessed the rescue commented to Yuda, “You got there just in the nick of time. If he (the patient) would have been stuck any longer, he would have died.”
On the following Monday, Yuda received an update on the patient’s progress. It was reported that the man was receiving medical care for various issues resulting from the prolonged immobility caused by his entrapment.
Yuda Widawsky reflected on this remarkable rescue, emphasizing the importance of quick thinking and adaptability during emergency responses. Sometimes, thinking creatively in critical moments can alter the entire outcome, as was the case here. Without the swift and resourceful actions of the United Hatzalah team, this story might have had a tragic ending.