A man in his 60s lost consciousness while driving his friends on a major roadway near Nof Hagalil – Har Yonah in northern Israel Thursday morning. His passengers managed to stop the car safely on the shoulder of the road at the entrance to Har Yonah, extricated the driver from the vehicle, laid him out on the ground, and called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shimon Vayzer had just finished taking his children to school and was back at home in Har Yonah, getting ready to go to work, when he received a notification about the unconscious man at the entrance to his neighborhood. The car stopped only two minutes from his house.
Arriving at the scene, Shimon found the man lying on the sidewalk. After quickly checking him for vital signs and finding none, he immediately started to perform chest compressions and ventilated the man with high-flow oxygen.
The man’s friends explained that he had been having trouble breathing a few minutes before losing consciousness. The experienced EMT recognized the symptoms of a cardiac arrest and continued with the necessary treatments.
As other volunteer EMTs arrived, Shimon continued performing CPR with their help, desperately trying to save this man’s life. After only a few minutes of CPR combined with numerous shocks from a defibrillator, an intensive care ambulance arrived and joined them. They promptly connected the patient to a heart monitor and administered medication while continuing CPR until the man’s pulse and breathing returned. Shimon then assisted the gathered team and placed the patient in the intensive care ambulance to be taken to the Italian hospital in Nazareth.
Shimon described his early morning resuscitation experience: “It was an extremely stressful situation because we were trying to revive a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest on the side of a major roadway. Performing CPR takes patience and is tedious work, and doing it on the side of the road is quite difficult and dangerous. However, nothing compares to the feeling that a person gets after saving someone else’s life. Even though I may be tired from the physical effort, my exhaustion is masked by the adrenaline and the joy of saving a life. This is a feeling I’m happy to carry with me for the rest of the day.”