Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah volunteers loading a patient onto an ambulance (Illustration).

Roi Ido, a United Hatzalah volunteer from the city of Kfar Saba, on Tuesday morning was heading out of his home to work. It was 7:45, not a kind time for Israeli motorists, and Roi ended up stuck in traffic. While waiting for the cars in front of him to start moving, Roi received an emergency alert from his communications device, and recognized the address with a glance: it was his own address. Knowing that his father, 78, is suffering from terminal heart disease, Roi turned around as fast as he could and called his mother.

He found out that his father had suffered a stroke and collapsed on the floor minutes after Roi had left. Finally, back at home, Roi was met by his older brother who was standing outside and told him two other EMS personnel had just arrived.


“I remember the moments driving back to the house,” said Roi. “It’s an EMTs worst nightmare. I remember preparing myself for the CPR I was about to do, CPR on my own father. I decided to keep the emotions aside, since my father’s health is the top priority for me. I knew that I had to clear my head and provide my father with the best care I could offer.”

Roi ran into the house and found his unconscious father, a United Hatzalah paramedic, and an additional EMT. The two EMTs began chest compressions and assisted breathing as the paramedic began attaching a defibrillator. After two minutes of chest compressions, the defibrillator did not advise a shock. After two more rounds of compressions, each lasting an additional two minutes, an ambulance crew arrived at the scene and joined the CPR efforts.

When the room became too crowded to work, Roi’s father was moved carefully to the living room while still undergoing compressions. As soon as they put him down, the defibrillator finally advised a shock. After the shock was administered, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene and prepared Roi’s father for transport.

Roi informed the intensive care crew that he was not leaving his father’s side, and so he rode with his father in the ambulance to the nearest hospital. On the way to the hospital, the CPR efforts continued, and after a few minutes, the pulse returned. On the way into the hospital, Roi’s father began to regain consciousness.

“I still have a hard time processing what happened,” said Roi. “That morning I was trying to leave for work earlier to beat the traffic around a nearby school. I got stuck because I had been late getting out, which is why I was close enough to rush back home and help save my father’s life.”

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