“I didn’t think that I was going to live. I want to thank you but I don’t know how to thank you. I am happy that I can see my children and grandchildren again,” Allegra Ben Akan told the United Hatzalah volunteers.
Allegra Ben Akan, a resident of Kiryat Gat in the south, suffered a full-system trauma injury in May when a rocket fired by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip exploded near her. On Thursday, she met the EMTs who were the first responders at the scene and saved her life.
The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups carried out a 60-hour attack on Israel in May, during which they fired some 700 rockets at Israeli cities and towns.
Four men – Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four; Ziad al-Hamamda, 47, father of seven; Moshe Feder, 68; and Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, 21 and father of a baby – were killed by the rockets.
Rivka Jamil, 89, from Ashkelon, ran for cover when the city was attacked by rockets. She fell during her run and sustained severe injuries. She succumbed to her wounds two months later.
Ben Akan underwent three months of treatment and rehabilitation following the injury. She then returned home and requested to meet the EMTs who saved her life.
The incident in which Ben Akan was wounded occurred on a Saturday afternoon when the warning siren alerted the residents of the city that rockets were headed in their direction. Ben Akan ran for shelter but did not make it in time. She was in the street when the rocket exploded. The shockwave and shrapnel from the rocket caused her injuries and she was evacuated in critical condition.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Yankee Weinberg and Itzik Assoulin, who live nearby, were the first responders at the scene. The first ambulance arrived a number of minutes after the two had begun treating the victim’s wounds and quickly transported her to the nearest hospital.
“We were proud to be able to help Allegra in her time of need,” said Weinberg, who runs the United Hatzalah chapter of Kiryat Gat. “We came to help her, but it was really from Heaven that we were in the area when the missile attack occurred and that we were able to save her life.”
“So many things could have happened that would have made this situation end differently. Thank God you are alive and recuperating now,” he told Ben Akan.
“Seeing how Allegra has recovered so far and knowing that she is on the road to a full recovery makes us thrilled and gives us the strength to keep on responding to emergencies time and again,” he added.
“I am shocked to know what you went through to save me,” Ben Akan told the responders during the meeting. “I didn’t think that I was going to live. I want to thank you but I don’t know how to thank you. I am happy that I can see my children and grandchildren again. I don’t know how to thank you.”