Local hero given full scholarship to BGU

17-year-old Arina Shestopolov Censor gave first aid in the field and saved the lives of two men.

Arina Shestopolov Censor (photo credit: Dani Machlis/BGU))
Arina Shestopolov Censor
(photo credit: Dani Machlis/BGU))
It’s uncommon to find such adult poise in a teenager.
Seventeen-year-old Arina Shestopolov Censor holds herself with assurance and meets the eyes of the local cameras with flair. What’s even more uncommon is that she had that same cool assurance while treating Nati Hachakur, a young man who was wounded when a Grad missile fell nearby.
Seriously injured in the attack, Hachakur would have bled to death without Arina’s jury-rigged tourniquets. She managed to save his life, despite her lack of formal training and in the midst of the havoc that followed the missile attack, including nearby fires and continued missile fire.
When two Grad missiles fell on Beersheba on August 20, Arina and her father Tslil didn’t hesitate. Hearing the cries of Lior George, a BGU student studying mechanical engineering, they rushed out of their building to help, she recounted to BGU President Rivka Carmi on Thursday.
Carmi had just presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her efforts and a full scholarship offer to BGU.
Tslil recalled that he thought Nati had been killed because he couldn’t find a pulse.
“I moved on to Lior because I couldn’t find a pulse and his eyes were closed,” he said.
However, as Arina came sprinting out after him, she noticed Nati open his eyes.
“I found some cloth and a stick and I made a tourniquet. The first two tore [and didn’t manage to stop the bleeding], but the third one held,” Arina recalled. Thanks to Arina’s efforts, Nati’s life was saved.
Arina, who has no formal medical training whatsoever, had recalled the diagrams in a book her father had given her to read five years before about emergency situations.
The last time I had looked at the book I was 12, but the diagrams just floated into my mind,” she said. Despite the lack of training, Arina and her father’s actions saved Nati and Lior’s lives, Dr. Michael Sherf, director-general of Soroka University Medical Center confirmed.
“When Nati was brought in to the ER, we took a picture of Arina’s makeshift tourniquet. I want to use it to teach this generation how to improvise materials from what’s at hand. Without their help, Nati would not have made it,” he said Thursday.
While not formally trained, Tslil brought her up to be constantly aware.
“He always says ‘panic kills, and Israeli children need to be aware,’” she said.
Prof. Carmi applauded Arina and Tslil and stressed how important his lessons were.
“It should not be taken for granted that a girl with no training should be so strong, so brave and so cool under fire to do what you did,” she declared warmly to Arina.
Turning to Tslil, she said, “We cannot take our existence here for granted. Whoever chooses to live here has to care and to be aware. We have to educate our children accordingly as well.”

Arina’s ties to BGU are longstanding.
Her grandfather, Dan Censor, is a professor emeritus of electrical engineering. He and his wife, Dalia, who recently retired from being a librarian at the Zalman Aranne Central Library, were also present at the ceremony.
Arina is also the youngest member of Aharai, a local group run by the BGU Student Association to prepare local high school students for the army. In addition to physical fitness training, they volunteer in the community and are involved in leadership training programs.
While Arina preferred to keep her ambitions in the IDF to a vague, “I’m aiming high,” her father confirmed that “she wants to be a pilot in the air force.”
And then perhaps a career in medicine? “We’ll have to wait and see,” she said.