Rafael works as a regional manager for Tnuva, Israel’s largest dairy cooperative and lives with his wife and two children in Rafael is passionate about saving lives, and with the full support and encouragement of his family, he is one of United Hatzalah’s busiest medics in the Negev region. He responds to a wide range of emergencies, which demands a tremendous amount of time, energy and emotional strength from Rafael.
One day, Rafael was alerted to a suspected suicide. He raced to the scene, arriving together with a paramedic. They found an ominous empty bottle of sleeping pills next to a semi-conscious 53 year-old woman, and a younger woman hysterically crying beside her. With a quick division of labor, the paramedic tended to the older woman and Rafael began gently speaking to the younger woman, trying to glean any pertinent information he could as well as calm her down. The woman tearfully explained that her mother had been depressed lately and that she had indeed swallowed a large number of sleeping pills. The caring medic calmed her down, explaining that they would do their utmost to save her mother. The ambulance arrived and Rafael helped carry the mother downstairs to the vehicle. As they were placing the woman into the ambulance the daughter suddenly shouted “Imma (mommy), you have what to live for! I love you!”
Rafael frequently responds to heart attacks, terror attacks, serious car accidents and the like with a cool and detached efficiency, ensuring total professionalism. However, when he heard the daughter’s heartfelt words, he could not hold back the tears. After all is said and done, the beating heart that fuels the passion to help feels the pain of those in need.