Ori Peles, 47, has a family history of heart issues, so his wife Liat decided to get him an unusual gift for his birthday — a home defibrillator. Little did she know, her present would soon save her husband's life.
Defibrillators are devices that deliver a dose of electric current to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat.
This weak, Ori went to play soccer with some friends, and when they parted ways around 11 PM he started feeling unwell. "I felt very weary after the game, and due to my family history, I was considering going to the hospital," Ori described the event. "In retrospect, now I know that at that same moment, I was already having a cardiac episode."
Ori decided to go home, and by the time he arrived, he was feeling very weak. "I woke up Liat and told her I need her to take care of me. I laid on the couch in the living room, I felt like I was about to lose consciousness and we decided to call an ambulance."
Meanwhile, Liat, with the help of her son, pulled out the defibrillator and attended to Ori. "They followed the instructions and conducted CPR using the device, while she was on the phone with the emergency hotline," Ori said.
"Shortly after, I woke up and recovered. The doctors told me that without the defibrillator, I would have either died or suffered permanent brain damage. I was saved thanks to the fast response time, and the doctors said that my heart and brain are functioning normally. I feel happy and lucky and I want people to know that this thing is life-saving and that it exists."
Prof. Kobi Shacham, director of the Cardiology Department at Sourasky Medical Center, treated Ori and was moved by his story.
"It's a wonderful story," said the doctor. "From our knowledge, every minute that goes by after cardiac arrest without treatment of the defibrillator reduces the chance of survival by ten percent. In that case, if it weren't for the home defibrillator, a few precious minutes would have gone by until emergency teams would have been able to administer one."