Avi is a resident of Atlit and at age 74, Avi is one of United Hatzalah’s oldest active volunteers. Avi spent his professional career working as the director of a local ambulance depot. After spending so many decades involved in lifesaving, retirement did not come easily to him. Avi was restless and felt something was missing in his life. Three years ago, Avi decided to do something about this feeling and joined United Hatzalah as a volunteer medic. Avi was back in action, saving lives on a daily basis. Below is just one of his many post-retirement life saving stories.
One morning around dawn, for some unknown reason, Avi could not sleep. Rather than just lay in bed, he got up and went for a walk. Not far from his house he saw his neighbor’s wife standing by the side of the road, her whole body shaking. Avi rushed over to her and she blurted out “My husband is gone! He’s not breathing”. Avi quickly called his son, also a medic, who happened to be visiting their home for a few days, to quickly bring his medical kit. Within 60 seconds, the father and son team were by the man’s side, checking his pulse. Finding none, they immediately began CPR. As the man’s wife cried and prayed in the background, Avi and his son performed intense chest compressions and assisted ventilation, in addition to administering one shock from the defibrillator. Ten minutes later, just as the ambulance arrived, the man’s pulse returned and he was rushed to the hospital in serious but stable condition. Thankfully, the man recovered and eventually returned home.
This 57-year-old man had been a former lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army. Due to severe diabetes, he suffered from numerous health problems and was basically housebound. Avi was thrilled to save the life of his neighbor who had given so much to the State of Israel. It is incidents like these that keep Avi going despite his age. He has no plans on retiring soon, or as he puts it “not until 120!”.