IsraelSeen Exclusive – From Birth to Bar Mitzvah One EMT Does It All
While relaxing at home one recent day, United Hatzalah volunteer paramedic Yaakov Ehrlich, received an alert that someone nearby was suffering from a bout of acute weakness and severe headaches. Ehrlich jumped in his car and rushed over to the address that had appeared on his United Hatzalah dispatch phone application. When he arrived at the address, Ehrlich was anxiously directed into the bedroom by the husband of the ill patient. He found a middle-aged woman lying in bed who was very weak.
The experienced paramedic took the woman’s vital signs while he asked her for her medical background. She told him that she was usually healthy but she was now making a bar mitzvah for her son and was under a lot of pressure. After assessing her vital signs, Ehrlich determined that the most likely cause for her sudden bout of weakness and headaches was her stress level. Yaakov reassured her and helped her calm down. He told her that her measurements were all within normal range and that physically there wasn’t anything medically wrong. After a few moments of Ehrlich’s experienced advice, the woman felt confident that after a good rest she would feel significantly better.
The woman’s husband, who had been sitting by his wife’s side, thanked Ehrlich for his assistance and Ehrlich noticed that he looked vaguely familiar. The husband, likewise commented that Ehrlich looked familiar to him as well. They tried to identify how they knew each other until they realized that Ehrlich had assisted the woman in delivering their baby 13 years ago. The baby was now turning Bar Mitzvah. In delighted surprise, the husband exclaimed that the bar mitzvah itself was taking place the next Shabbat and asked Ehrlich to attend. He immediately handed Yaakov an invitation, thanking him once again for bringing their son safely into the world all those years ago and urged him to join the family in the celebration.
As a volunteer paramedic for over 25 years, Ehrlich has delivered approximately 120 babies outside of a hospital setting. One woman, who has particularly quick labors, has been assisted by Ehrlich in delivering two of her children at home.
Ehrlich spoke about the incident and said: “Meeting a child whom I helped bring into this world is one of the unexpected joys of volunteering. It brings me a tremendous amount of gratification and makes a lot of the more difficult emergency calls that much more worthwhile.”