Grapevine: Saving lives

Lubotzky, a disabled IDF veteran of the Second Lebanon War in which he fought with the Golani Brigade, was permanently injured when hit by an antitank missile in 2006.

June 26, 2019 16:01
3 minute read.
United Hatzalah volunteers working to save lives after a building collapsed.

United Hatzalah volunteers working to save lives after a building collapsed.. (photo credit: COURTESY UNITED HATZALAH)

■ LEGEND HAS it that infants have a special relationship with their mothers due to the umbilical cord. But the youngest addition to the Lubotzky family is bound to have a special relationship with her father, Dr. Asael Lubotzky and grandfather Prof. Michael Schimmel.
Lubotzky, a pediatric specialist, was on duty this week at Shaare Zedek Medical Center when he received a call from his wife, Avital, that her labor had begun. He quickly found a substitute to fill in for him and rushed home to drive his wife to the hospital. The baby, their fifth child, was born with severe breathing problems that would have proved fatal if her father had not been on hand. Minutes later, he was joined in the lifesaving effort by his father-in-law, Schimmel, a senior physician in the maternity and neonatal ward of Shaare Zedek, who until only a few days earlier had been head of the department for premature babies.
Lubotzky, a disabled IDF veteran of the Second Lebanon War in which he fought with the Golani Brigade, was permanently injured when hit by an antitank missile in 2006. To this day, he walks with the help of crutches. Notwithstanding the gravity of his injury and the long road to recovery, he was determined to become a doctor and finally realized that dream in 2015. For him, it is always rewarding to save the life of a child, but he never imagined that one day he would save the life of a child of his own, so soon after she was born.

FOUR EXEMPLARY first responders who work with United Hatzalah were last week honored by the Jerusalem Municipality. The four, who are all residents of the capital, were David Selach, Noa Zohar, Avraham Becker and Sami Darwish, who hails from the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. The four chosen were from among more than 400 first responders in Jerusalem and its surrounds.
Selach, who lives in Ramot, and has been a United Hatzalah volunteer for the past eight years, runs United Hatzalah’s ambulance system and logistics for the Jerusalem region. Curiously, in saving the life of a baby, he had an experience similar to that of Lubotzky and Schimmel.
On a recent Friday he received an emergency call to rush to a home two blocks from his own apartment. The baby lying on the kitchen table was in an advanced stage of asphyxiation. Selach immediately began performing CPR and located the object blocking the baby’s airway. The baby gave a sharp cry, which ordinarily would have been annoying, but this time was very welcome, and everyone present breathed a sigh of relief.
Zohar, 35, is married and the mother of four. She lives in Romema. She has been an EMT volunteer for more than 20 years and heads United Hatzalah’s education department.
She, too, was confronted with a child who was barely breathing. The 18-month-old girl, clutched in the arms of an anxious father, was brought to Zohar’s home in the middle of the night. Zohar performed CPR, brought back the child’s pulse and thereby saved her life.
Becker, 27, lives in Pisgat Ze’ev and works with the police. He has been with United Hatzalah for seven years and rides an ambucycle. He also works as an ambulance driver. A few months back, he was called to treat a 50-year-old man who had collapsed with a heart attack. CPR was inadequate, and thankfully Becker, like other ambucyclists, was equipped with a defibrillator, enabling him to apply shock treatment. The man was subsequently hospitalized and is expected to make a complete recovery.
Darwish, 58, and married with four children, works as a contractor. He has been a volunteer with United Hatzalah for five years. In addition to his EMT work, Darwish assists in the organization’s emergency room. He also volunteers for extra shifts at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, and switches to being an ambulance driver every Saturday in order to be available for emergencies when there is no public transport. He has delivered both Jewish and Muslim babies on Saturdays, after which he has driven them and their mothers to hospital.

■ WOMEN HAVE been running small businesses almost since time immemorial, so it comes as no surprise that of the nine speakers – including Mayor Moshe Lion – who are listed to give addresses at the Neighborhood Small Business Conference to be held on July 3 at the Yehuda Hotel, 1 Haim Kolitz Road, five are women. This is such a pleasant change from the days when speakers at business conferences of any kind were only men, with a “progressive” enterprise occasionally supplying a platform for a token woman.

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