Two year old Elchanan dancing on stage .
(photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH)
A two-year-old toddler who left his family’s sukka on Thursday, drowned in a nearby pond and was clinically dead, was resuscitated by United Hatzalah medics and on Monday danced on stage at the UH benefit concert.
An only child, Elchanan, was underwater for some time before he was located by his worried parents, who immediately called emergency services. UH volunteer medics Meir Framowitz and Yishai Blau were the closest responders to the incident. They arrived in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood in less than two minutes from the time the call went out.
When they arrived they were handed the toddler who was completely blue, was not breathing and had no pulse. They immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation while his family and onlookers prayed for the boy’s recovery. A few minutes later, they were joined by other first responders from Magen David Adom and an ambulance team that took the child to the hospital.
Dr. Adam Ballin, a volunteer with UH’s psychotrauma and crisis response unit, arrived at the scene to comfort the parents and accompanied the distraught mother to the hospital after the father had gone with the child in the ambulance. He spent five hours with the family in the hospital until the holiday had ended and Elchanan’s condition stabilized somewhat.
“The doctors who were treating him in the hospital said that he was in serious condition but stable later that evening,” explained Ballin. “We were praying that Elchanan recover and that there would not be any brain damage.”
Their prayers were answered. Elchanan was released from hospital on Monday morning and, due to the quick intervention by the first responders, made a full recovery. “I didn’t want to tell the parents at the time, but their boy was clinically dead when the team arrived. And he was brought back from the brink,” said Ballin.
“The chances of this kind of CPR succeeding on a young boy in this situation are infinitesimal.”
Elchanan and his parents, Yehoshua and Rivkah, were invited by UH to the Avraham Fried concert at the Jerusalem International Convention Center to benefit United Hatzalah and tell their story in front of the crowd. When UH founder and president Eli Beer told the story, the toddler ran, jumped and played on stage as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened – greatly moving the audience. The family then thanked the first responders who saved their child’s life and hugged them, leaving members of the audience in tears.
Ballin said, “We succeeded together in saving Elchanan’s life and giving this family something to celebrate rather than mourn. Being on stage with him tonight was simply out of this world. On Sukkot afternoon, that child was basically dead, and now he is up and around and jumping on stage and has a bright future in front of him. It was simply unbelievable.”
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing my baby back” said Rivkah, with tears in her eyes. “We are so happy to be here with good news, as this situation could have gone very differently,” Yehoshua added.
“There are different ways that God does miracles but he prefers to do them in the natural way. Even though these responders seem like they are God’s natural way, it is hard for me to imagine that I can touch this guy and that he is not an angel and that I would burn my hand. These people are God’s messengers. The doctors at the hospital didn’t recognize the miracle. There was water in my son’s lungs. My only son.
There is no water there anymore. This is truly a miracle. God used these guys as his arms and we will thank them forever and ever. We will always thank them.”