United Hatzalah volunteer Avi Press with the donated ambucycle. (Courtesy United Hatzalah) (Courtesy United Hatzalah)
United Hatzalah volunteer Avi Press

An ambucycle dedicated in memory of a terror victim saved the life of a young Arab woman in Jerusalem’s Old City.  

An ambucycle dedicated in honor of terror victim Yoni Jesner was the first vehicle on scene at the Damascus Gate two weeks ago when an Arab woman suffered intense seizures and a diabetic crisis resulting from hyperglycemia.

Avi Press is a United Hatzalah volunteer who rides the ambucycle donated to the organization by friends and family members of Jesner. Two weeks ago, Press received an urgent alert one evening from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. A young woman was having intense seizures in the Old City of Jerusalem, just past the entrance to the Muslim Quarter near Damascus Gate. While this area has been the site of numerous terror attacks over the past several months, Press didn’t hesitate and sped to the location. Despite the thick rush-hour traffic, the courageous medic was able to reach the location quickly thanks to his nimble ambucycle.

Press was joined by another United Hatzalah ambucycle medic on the scene. The pair found the young woman in her 20s slipping in and out of consciousness. A quick assessment revealed that her blood sugar levels were dangerously high.

The expert medics helped revive the woman as they opened an IV line for quick access to fluids and medications. They continued to provide lifesaving treatment for nearly 20 minutes until the ICU ambulance managed to arrive. By that time, the woman’s seizures had subsided, her blood pressure had stabilized and she was prepped and ready for quick transport to the emergency room.

Jewish Volunteer: Saving Arab Woman a ‘Meaningful’ Experience

“Being religious Jewish volunteer medics providing the first emergency response for a young Arab woman at the Damascus Gate was particularly meaningful for me. Here I was at the location in which a lot of hatred is expressed and many people have lost their lives to terrorism. In this spot, riding the ambucycle dedicated in honor of terror victim Yoni Jesner, here I am doing something to save a life and make a difference. I am thankful that I have gotten the opportunity to show people that there is loving kindness in the world. That is incredibly meaningful to me.”

Upon hearing of the incident, Eli Beer, president and founder of United Hatzalah, said: “This is what United Hatzalah is all about. We get people working together to try to turn tragic situations into life-saving ones. The donation by the friends and family of Yoni Jesner helped save an Arab woman’s life today and has helped saved the lives of many Jews as well.

“When the Talmud tells us that saving a life means saving an entire world, it means that the future positive ramifications of the act of loving kindness are unending,” he concluded. “Our volunteers don’t do this for glory, rather they do it to save others, no matter who those others are or where they are from. If someone is in need we give our all to help them.”

By: Mark Tainar