Photo Credit: Courtesy United Hatzalah
Dr. David Kupferberg

An American physician living in Efrat on Tuesday night saved the life of a guest at his own son’s wedding.

Dr. David Kupferberg MD, a Montreal-born Pulmonary and Critical Care physician and first responder for United Hatzalah, on Tuesday night celebrated his son’s wedding outdoors, at the Gush Etzion winery (in keeping with the coronavirus restrictions). After the Chupah, Dr. Kupferberg recalls, “I was in the middle of the dancing with the groom when all of a sudden the mother of the bride came and pulled me from the dancing circle.”


“As she pulled me across the floor she shouted (so that I could hear her over the music) that a young woman was ill and needed help,” Dr. Kupferberg related. “I rushed over and saw the young woman was clearly suffering from a very severe allergic reaction. She was still able to talk and I asked her if she knew whether or not she had any severe allergies. She said she had suffered from this before and is allergic to fish and erythromycin (neither of which were served at the wedding!). I immediately sent someone to grab my United Hatzalah medical bag from the car.”

“As I held the woman, she told me that she was having difficulty breathing and felt like she was about to pass out, which she then promptly did in my arms. I caught her and laid her down. The person had returned with my bag and I immediately pulled out a syringe and administered some epinephrine,” Dr. Kupferberg continued.

“My brother, Jeff Kupferberg, who is also a volunteer first responder, quickly joined me, and together we stabilized the girl’s condition. I called dispatch and asked that an ambulance be sent. I could barely hear what I was telling them on the phone over the wedding music, but thankfully they heard me. It took a few seconds for the epinephrine to kick in and the young woman’s symptoms started to abate. She slowly began to regain consciousness. When the ambulance arrived, they had a stable patient to transport to the hospital. After she was on her way, my brother and I went back to dancing, thankful that we were able to help.

“Helping to save a life at my son’s wedding was surreal and beautiful. I am grateful that as first responders we take our medical kits with us wherever we go and for just this reason. One never knows when or where they will be needed. As a physician, my first response bag includes a variety of medications that I am allowed to administer in the field. This is precisely what United Hatzalah is meant to do: Have first responders go about their daily lives and when called upon, be ready to act to save lives,” Dr. Kupferberg concluded.