A man in his late 20s was at home on Yoseftal Street in Tzfat preparing to go to bed early Monday morning, when he suddenly collapsed. The man was in good health with no pre-existing medical conditions and his collapse came as a complete shock to his wife, who ran upstairs to her neighbor’s home screaming for help.
The upstairs neighbor was Eliyahu Shiloach, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT. Eliyahu called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center and alerted them to the situation. They in turn sent an alert out to other responders in the area as Eliyahu ran downstairs to help. When Eliyahu burst through the door he found his neighbor in a state of agonal gasping and immediately began CPR.
Another United Hatzalah volunteer, David Ohanuna, who lives down the street, heard the radio chatter and rushed over to assist, stopping momentarily to get medical equipment and a defibrillator from his car. He ran into the apartment a minute after Eliyahu and joined the CPR efforts. David attached the defibrillator and a shock was advised. Over the next few minutes, Eliyahu and David rotated between performing compressions, providing assisted ventilation, and shocking the patient each time the defibrillator advised that a shock was needed.
As other volunteers were rushing in to assist, three shocks were delivered in less than ten minutes. The mobile intensive care ambulance arrived shortly after the emergency alert went out and joined the effort to save the man’s life. Only 15 minutes after Eliyahu initiated CPR, the combined team managed to restore a pulse and the man began breathing on his own.
Eliyahu reflected on the incident and said, ”This is exactly why United Hatzalah exists, so people in every community in the country can help their neighbors. When a medical emergency occurs people tend to freeze and are at a loss as to what to do. Knowing that I am an emergency responder made my neighbor’s wife jump into action and she ran to me for help. I don’t take credit for the rescue, these things are in God’s hands, but I am thankful that I was in the right place, and had the knowledge necessary, to be able to help.”
David echoed the same sentiment and added, “I’ve done three successful CPRs with this defibrillator. That’s a lot for one of these machines. I don’t consider the device lucky because these things are all in God’s hands, but I can say that it left me with a good feeling knowing that I helped save a life today, and I hope that this man makes a full recovery. Watching Eliyahu in action and working together with him and the other first responders who arrived was also inspirational. I wish that we all learn to work together with one another as well as we all did in that room to make the world a better place. It is by working together with one another that we can help create miracles here on earth.”