Itzik thought he would be waking up to a typical Shabbat morning with the family, but instead collapsed after a heart attack. His wife, Talia, remembered some resuscitation techniques she had seen on “Grey’s Anatomy” and – by performing them – she saved her husband’s life.
Itzik, 51 years old from Jerusalem, suffered from coronary heart disease that caused obstruction in three cardiac arteries. After three cardiac arrests and four catheterizations in the last 10 years, he decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and sensible nutrition. His situation improved and he was able to lead a relatively normal life.
One Shabbat morning, the family was about to sit down for breakfast when suddenly, without warning, Itzik collapsed from Ventricular Fibrillation (VF).
Said Talia, “He came into the kitchen and said he felt awful. He called my name and then just dropped to the floor. I tried waking him up but he didn’t react and because of his history I immediately thought it was a heart attack.”
Talia then instinctively tried to reconstruct the procedures she had seen on “Grey’s Anatomy” and for the next 20 minutes attempted to revive her husband. “It seemed like an eternity,” she said later.
Meanwhile, their 12-year-old son called for help and a paramedical team arrived, and continued the resuscitation attempts as they took Itzik to Shaare Zedek. They gave him the last of about 15 electric shocks as they rushed into the hospital. At the same time, they were giving him drugs to stabilize his heartbeat and pulse.
“Those were very scary moments with all sorts of scenarios racing through my head, but every time the treatment team looked as though they were losing hope, Itzik came round again,” said Talia.
After about 10 days in hospital, Itzik had a subcutaneous defibrillator implanted in his body and was discharged in a stable condition.