17 Minutes Between Life and Death

For Levi Ben Tov—popular Israeli event producer—it was just another typical night planned to be spent with his family. Soon after returning home from work, Levi began feeling back pain, and sensed that something wasn’t right. He told his daughter to call an ambulance.

Shortly following the arrival of the first aid responder, Ben Tov collapsed. The responder determined that Levi was experiencing cardiac arrest. Levi’s daughter, and the team of first responders, performed CPR for 17 minutes, until Levi’s pulse returned.

Once his condition stabilized, Levi was taken by ambulance to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he was immediately admitted into the Cardiac Catheterization Unit in the Jesselson Integrated Heart Center, and underwent an urgent procedure. From this, Shaare Zedek doctors determined Ben Tov was suffering from an aortic aneurysm in one of the valves to the heart. “In most of these cases we rely on a larger stent to open the valve but in Levi’s case we saw that even the largest stent wasn’t appropriate so we employed a special balloon device to expand the artery,” explains Dr. Elad Asher, Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Shaare Zedek. “The patient was treated with a specific cooling approach for patients who have undergone resuscitation in order to protect their overall functioning and after a couple weeks Levy recovered and was released home without any functional damage and in good condition.”

Last week, Levi returned to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, this time on his own two feet, for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Asher, and to express his immense gratitude for the dedicated and intensive care that saved his life. At Shaare Zedek, saving, delivering, and changing lives is what we do.

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