United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Elkana Breuer became ill at Rosh Hashana and lives at the “Corona Hotel” in Israel. His stay there turned out to be more timely, as he has not stopped responding to medical emergencies in other residents … Full story
By COLlive Reporter
Elkana Breuer, living in Beitar Illit, works as a singer and keyboardist and teaches in an elementary school. At Rosh Hashanah, he prayed in a small minyan where the congregation strictly adhered to all the rules of the Ministry of Health and acted in accordance with the guidelines. Despite this, 10 out of the 20 participants got coronavirus in minyan.
As a result, Breuer̵
A day or two after his arrival, Broyar began to feel better and told the staff that he was EMT. “Since announcing that I am United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, I have not rested for a moment,” Breuer said. “I have been encouraged to provide medical care to many people here at the hotel who have no or no other resource for medical care.”
Having the disease itself meant that Breuer was free to treat any of the sick patients in the hospital. To some who suffered from severe respiratory problems associated with the virus, he provided oxygen and first aid and then asked for an ambulance to transport them to a hospital in Jerusalem.
“There was a man here who needed help. He was in really bad shape. I was called and provided with oxygen and urged him to be transported to the hospital immediately. A few days later, he was transported back to the hotel and fared much better thanks to the care he had received. He was very well received here back at the hotel and I see him and his wife walking around the grounds a lot. Seeing them walk around makes me and everyone else here very happy, ”says Breuer.
Breuer has treated dozens of people during his three-week stay at the hotel. “I treat approx. 10 cases or more every day. Whether it’s people tripping down the stairs, getting broken bones, shortness of breath related to Covid, or other illnesses, I pretty much answer a call all the time. There was an incident with an infant sticking a pearl up his nose and I instructed the parents not to try to pull it out but rather go to the hospital to have it removed properly. In another incident, someone had a severe allergic reaction to some dairy that they mistakenly ingested. They also had to go to the hospital. Most of the work is about reassuring people and identifying which cases are urgent and need to go to the hospital and which are not and can not be treated here. ”
Breuer said there is a doctor who comes to the hotel daily for a few hours at a time, but it is difficult to get an appointment and often emergencies arise when the doctor is not on site. “Being here has really given the other residents a sense of comfort that in case of an emergency, there is someone here who can help them. I’m happy to do it, but it has certainly not been a relaxing stay for me here, ”said Breuer.
Not all cases of Breuer’s help were medical. On Saturday night, Breuer led the residents of the hotel in a special musical event for Hakafot Shniyot the night after Simchat Torah. During the festivities, one of the mothers gave her son her first haircut, a special festive occasion for a child who turns three years old according to the Chassidic tradition. In a similar event, Breuer led a special feast in honor of one of the young men who concluded a treaty of the Talmud in the middle days of Sukkot at a Simchat Beit Hashoeva feast, where he also sang for the inhabitants.
“All of us who were here for the holidays banded together and worked hard to celebrate the joy that the holiday brings. We need to focus on the good in life despite the illness. There is always good and there is always joy. We just have to find it and focus on it. Helping people brings joy. Culminating life cycle events and maintaining traditions brings joy. Even here in the midst of so many people suffering from the disease, we must all realize that we are healing and we will go through this. So in the meantime, we must seize the opportunity we have to help others and bring joy to others. It’s a little light in the middle of the darkness, and that’s so important, ”Breuer concluded.