We were looking for a Jewish St. Patty story and couldn’t find one that didn’t involve excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. But then our friends at United Hatzalah sent us this tale of a Petah Tikvah EMT who performed a successful CPR on a cardiac arrest patient for the second time in two months and figured this will count as a luck of the Irish story, but with Jews.
On Tuesday morning, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Alan Malka was at home in Petah Tikva getting his day started after a late night shift, when he heard the sound coming from his emergency communications device. Alan recognized the address very well, on Ya’akov Krol Street, where he had responded to an emergency and performed CPR that wasn’t immediately successful, but save the patient’s life in the long-run.
Two months earlier, a 30-year-old man had suffered a heart attack, a rarity his age, and Alan was the first responder at the scene. After two shocks from the defibrillator and half an hour of chest compressions, the victim was taken to the hospital by the mobile intensive care ambulance, without a pluss and unconscious.
Days after that CPR, Alan was pleased to hear that the man had recovered, thanks to his early intervention, and was later released from the hospital. Then, on Tuesday morning, Alan set out on his ambucycle to return to the man’s apartment, determined to save his life for the second time.
“It was like I had a second chance to save the man’s life, and it gave me a purpose,” said Alan. “I was more determined than the last time, and I went to the apartment ready to save a life.”
As soon as Alan walked through the door, the victim’s mother recognized him from the previous incident. Alan arrived together with the mobile intensive care ambulance. Two other United Hatzalah EMTs who live closer than Alan were already at the scene.
After reassuring the man’s frightened mother, Alan joined the team in CPR efforts and took his part in the rotation of administering compressions and assisted ventilation. After 20 minutes of compressions, the defibrillator, which had been attached before Alan’s arrival, alerted the team that it was about to give a shock – and just then the man’s pulse miraculously returned.
As Alan was helping the crew transport the man down the stairs to the ambulance, the victim started regaining consciousness. Before the ambulance drove off, the man had a chance to thank Alan for saving his life one more time.
“Not often do EMTs get a second shot,” said Alan. “Usually, CPRs are either successful or unsuccessful. After the first incident, the doctors and nurses at the hospital were able to help the man recover and return to himself, but I did not get a chance to see it. After our efforts, the man was still without a pulse, although our efforts kept his blood flowing long enough to give him a fighting chance. Thankfully it all worked out then, but today was different. Today, our efforts paid off right in front of our eyes and the man regained consciousness. He has a long way to go to recover completely, but I am glad that this second chance was even more successful than the first time.”