‘Ouch, that’s enough, stop!’ Photographer meets doctor who saved his life at basketball game
Photographer, 53, with no history of ill health who nearly died during a basketball game, reunited with the cool-headed doctor who brought him back to life with a defibrillator and thanked her to have saved him.
Ilan Weinstock, the official photographer of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, was overwhelmed with emotion when he again came face to face with Gal Trommer at the same Shlomo Group Arena in Tel Aviv where the dramatic events happened two and a half weeks ago.
“How are you?” Trommer asked Weinstock before the two shook hands and then kissed, during a “reunion” hosted by Channel 12 and broadcast (in Hebrew) on Tuesday.
On CCTV from the night he suffered cardiac arrest, Weinstock can be seen entering the basketball court shortly before a game between his team and hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Looking at the footage, Weinstock recalled feeling “terribly dizzy” as he moved along the sideline. He leaned against a rail in the stands for support before collapsing seconds later.
Despite being relatively young and having no pre-existing medical conditions, Weinstock’s heart stopped.
From that point, there was probably no more than 5-10 minutes to save his life, and only five to avoid serious brain damage, even with cardiac massage.
Officials and bystanders rushed to help, but a team of Magen David Adom paramedics who were deployed at the game did not reach Weinstock until two minutes later.
In video of the incident, Trommer, 23, can be seen walking towards the group around Weinstock as some hold towels around the fallen man to give him some privacy.
As soon as Trommer realized what had happened, the team rushed to bring in a defibrillator, a lifesaving device that uses electrical pulses to restart a person’s heart.
With some 750 people in the crowd watching, Trommer got to work and after a minute and a half Weinstock regained consciousness, a rare occurrence because even after the heart restarts most patients remain unconscious until that they receive hospital treatment.
“’Ouch, that’s enough, stop it!’ he screamed,” Trommer recalled after they shook hands and briefly kissed at the basketball stadium.
Weinstock, who watched the footage of his impending death with an expression of horror and relief, said his shouting at Trommer was the only part of their first meeting he remembered.
Channel 12 hosted the reunion on Tuesday to mark National Public Deliberator Awareness Day, which was sponsored by MDA, the National Lottery, the Center for Local Authorities and the Defi website. [Hebrew] which allows users to see where the nearest defibrillator is.
There are thousands of deliberators positioned in public places across the country. The machines are designed to be easy to use, even by an untrained audience. If a person collapses, those nearby are advised to immediately call MDA on its national emergency number 101. If the call center deems it necessary, operators can direct callers to the nearest defibrillator and explain how to use the device.
The machines also speak pre-recorded commands, in Hebrew, guiding users through operating steps, including warning them when they should stay away to avoid receiving an electric shock as well.
If a person has severe dysrhythmia, the defibrillator is probably their only chance for survival. For every minute that passes without the heat restarting, even with cardiac massage, the chances of survival drop by 10%. After five minutes, the chances of surviving without significant brain damage are very low.