The decision of an 11-year-old girl to donate a defibrillator to her school with her Bas Mitzvah money last year — led to a life being saved in Santiago, Chile, this past Rosh Hashana.
From Bill 613 by Zvi Hershcovich:
Local girl donates defibrillator for her Bas Mitzvah
It began last year when Shmarya Plotkin, who is an instructor for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada decided to provide first aid and CPR training to the staff of each Jewish school in Montreal.
As his project grew, he realized the need for each school to have defibrillator, which delivers a therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart. This reestablishes the body’s natural pacemaker, often saving lives. These cost between $1,500-$2,000 each.
In reality each school needs three defibrillators, but thanks to Plotkin’s fundraising, several of these devices have been placed in Jewish schools across Montreal.
When Plotkin approached his friend Ari Schwartz to ask if he would help sponsor, he noted that Schwartz’s daughter Esty was going to turn 12, and proposed a partial sponsorship in honour of her Bas Mitzvah.
Schwartz sat down with his daughter that evening and asked if she would like a nice gift valued at the cost of the defibrillator or if she would prefer to donate the life saving device to her school. “She immediately said that she’d rather get the defibrillator,” Schwartz told Bill613 last December. “As a parent, this makes me very happy. She left a good example and hopefully others will follow her lead and do this as well.”
A life is saved in Santiago
Schwartz, who moved to Montreal from Santiago, Chile, shared an article on the story with his friends and family.
This past summer, a cousin who was in the process of founding Hatzoloh of Santiago brought the story to a potential donor who was so inspired by Esty Schwartz’s actions, that he decided to sponsor a defibrillator to Hatzoloh of Chile.
This past Rosh Hashana, just two weeks after donating the defibrillator, someone went into cardiac arrest. Schwartz’s cousin responded to the call and used the new defibrillator to saved his life.
“Sometimes when you do good deeds, you don’t realize the ripple effect, and how far reaching it is,” said Plotkin. “Because of Esty Schwartz’s kind actions to her school, a Jew in Chile is alive today.”