Arutz Sheva spoke with Eli Beer, Founder and President of the United Hatzalah organization, about his recent recovery from coronavirus.
Beer founded Hatzalah at age 16 - a small organization with just 15 volunteers. Today, the organization has grown to over 7,000 volunteers, with branches in many other countries as well.
"It was a war - a very long and aggressive war, on both sides," he said of his battle with COVID-19. "We were fighting and we were punching each other - let me tell you that, these guys know how to punch."
Before returning to Israel, Beer was tested for coronavirus three times. Each of those tests came back negative, "which is great," he added, noting that he does not know when he was infected.
After he discovered he had a fever, Beer isolated himself, but was soon advised by doctors and friends in Miami to admit himself to the hospital. "That's what I did, I went to Miami University," he said.
At the university, they examined Beer and took a chest x-ray, deciding to admit him to the intensive care unit. Three days later, the hospital decided to intubate him and put him in an artificial coma, which he stayed in for 18 days, before waking up only to have the doctors decide to put him back in another artificial coma and debating whether to operate on him.
"I know what intubating means, it's not a joke," he emphasized. "They were fighting for me, these doctors and nurses, they were fighting for me."
Beer admitted that he did not think COVID-19 would be such a terrible disease.
"I got my life back, really, G-d had mercy on me," he said. "I promise one thing: Now that I came back, I'm...going to work harder to make sure more people are saved."
"I was choking, it took a month and a half to save me, a five-year-old boy choking in a kindergarten, you only have 90 seconds to save him... So I'm going to put more time, more of my thoughts, to build the future of United Hatzalah without me. But I'm going to put all my time, for the rest of my life, to make sure United Hatzalah grows and grows and saves more lives."
"I really hope that I take this opportunity and live a good life," he concluded, thanking all his friends and doctors.