Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah father and son volunteers Sariel (L) and Dovi Widawsky.

Just after 8:30 Sunday morning, an employee at a school on Shalom Sharabi Street in Petah Tikvah told one of his colleagues that he wasn’t feeling well. He sat down on a bench and keeled over. His colleagues, who all had taken a CPR course, called emergency services and proceeded to attach the school’s defibrillator to the man’s chest and begin CPR. The man received one shock from the defibrillator before the arrival of EMTs.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Elchanan Witztom was at home drinking his morning coffee when he received the alert. He put the cup down and rushed out the door. At the same time, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Sariel Widawsky had just gotten to shul for the morning prayers. He left his prayer shawl and tefillin at the door and rushed back out to respond to the emergency.


“Elchanan, myself, and a third EMT, arrived simultaneously at the school and took over CPR efforts from the staff,” Sariel reported. “We continued compressions, provided assisted ventilation, and opened an IV line. When the mobile intensive care unit arrived, they administered medication through the IV line. It was a great team effort that resulted in saving a life.”

Elchanan, who is a nurse at Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak, added, “It was a very quick resuscitation and I was happy that the man’s pulse returned just six minutes after we arrived. We managed to bring back both his pulse and his breathing and the man was able to breathe on his own when he was put into the ambulance.”

Sariel concluded: “It was a great way to begin Jerusalem Day. I not only got to save a life but I made it back to shul in time for the end of the Hallel prayer. There is no better way to begin a holiday morning than by saving a life and then giving praise to God.”


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