Only three weeks ago, a 55-year-old athlete collapsed on the field during a soccer match at the 21st Maccabiah Games. The Australian athlete was playing Columbia in the Masters’ Tournament for athletes 55 and over.
The MDA team providing medical coverage for the Maccabiah Games responded immediately. Following CPR and electric shocks with a defibrillator, he was resuscitated and evacuated to Laniado Hospital in Netanya, fully conscious and communicative.
This week, the recovered athlete (at his request his name is withheld) got to meet the EMTs and paramedics who saved his life. Watch the video:
He feels especially connected to EMT Shoval Katzin. “I don’t remember anything, but I was told by everybody that you were incredible, that you were on top of me, and punching me, and pushing me, and using this amazing machine [the defibrillator].
“You brought me back to life and gave me a second chance. So you and I will be bonded together forever. Forever. I will always stay in touch with you.”
The athlete was also very grateful to Orianne Lucatz, the paramedic who stayed by his side in the Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance on the way to hospital. She promised they would see him again.
For many years, the Maccabiah Games have opted to secure on-the-field medical coverage of the sporting events, even though it is not legally required. This decision may have ultimately saved his life.
To show their appreciation to Magen David Adom, Maccabiah Deputy Executive Director and CEO Roy Hessing presented Shoval Katzin and the MDA team with an award of thanks and appreciation.