On Sunday just before noon, a woman in her 80s was walking with her son down Avot Yeshurun Street in Ashdod when she suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed. Worried passersby called emergency services for help.
Shmuel Lasry, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT was having a regular day at work as a local Kashrut supervisor for various restaurants and establishments in the city. Suddenly, he received an alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center regarding the medical emergency that was taking place on the very same street on which he was located.
Shmuel wasted no time and grabbed his medical kit, which he always carries around, and ran out of the kitchen and over to the location, just four buildings over. He arrived within 30 seconds and found the woman lying on the floor, next to her son. The son was confused at what had just transpired and in shock. Working quickly, Shmuel performed a quick vitals check on the woman and finding her pulseless and not breathing, began CPR.
Shmuel initiated compression while alerting dispatch to the situation and requesting backup. Two minutes later, he was joined by additional United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs each quickly performing the necessary medical techniques required in the fight to save the woman’s life. One volunteer took over compressions and others joined Shmuel in providing assisted ventilation.
Approximately five minutes later an ambulance arrived. As the woman was still pulseless, the team joined in the CPR effort and worked together seamlessly. For over twenty minutes the combined team worked tirelessly to save her life. Their efforts were rewarded as the woman’s pulse returned and she even began to breathe again once more unassisted. The volunteers then transferred her to the ambulance for swift transport to the nearest emergency medical center.
One of the ambulance staffers remarked how if they had been the first to arrive after seven minutes, they most likely would not be transferring her alive.
After the incident, Shmuel recounted, “ I joined United Hatzalah six years ago after my brother died of a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it but I will never forget how hard the United Hatzalah volunteers fought to save his life. That’s why I decided to volunteer myself. Today I was blessed to save a life, and it is in his honor. After a successful resuscitation like this one, there is no way to describe just how satisfying and fulfilling it feels to save someone’s life. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this.”