Yehezkel works for a tour company and lives with his wife and 11 children in Tzfat. He has been volunteering for over 10 years and is the deputy head of the United Hatzalah Tzfat branch. Yehezkel is a man with a mission, to reach out, to help and to never give up. He inculcates this into his children with whom he shares his emergency stories, making them feel as partners (which they are) in his lifesaving activities.
Over the years, Yehezkel has responded to thousands of medical emergencies, saving countless lives and keeping untold numbers of families whole. Many of these incidents have been long forgotten there is one that he will never forget. He received a call from the dispatch center that a two-month-old baby was unconscious in his vicinity. Yehezkel bolted outside and raced to the address. Sprinting into the home, he found a baby with congenital respiratory problems who was connected to a breathing machine. The infant was an ominous shade of blue and Yehezkel, together with another United Hatzalah volunteer, immediately began CPR on the pulseless child. While the two medics were busy trying to save the baby’s life, Yehezkel noticed that the oxygen that they were providing the child was not entering his lungs. The perceptive medic quickly spotted the problem; the internal tubing had come loose and was no longer bringing oxygen to the child. Worried, Yehezkel contacted the dispatch center and asked how far away the ambulance was. When the reply came back that it was ten minutes away, Yehezkel knew that he needed to do something quickly or the baby would not survive. With the permission of United Hatzalah’s medical control officer and the mother’s blessing, Yehezkel gently shifted the tubing, a task generally done only by doctors or respiratory specialists. Thankfully, after a few moments, Yehezkel succeeded in guiding the tubing to its correct location. When the ambulance finally arrived, the child had regained a pulse and was breathing on his own, requiring only supplemental oxygen.
Thankfully, the baby recovered with no lasting side effects. Yehezkel remarked “that he has had many successful saves over the years, and while they are all memorable, few have left the impact on him that this one has”. Seeing this boy alive, happy, and healthy gives him a reason to volunteer, every single day. It provides him with the focus to continue resuscitation, even when almost all hope is lost, because one never knows just how a person will be saved.