Jonathan Sarna Improves With 'Quiet 24 Hours' — Condition Still Critical

Cardiologist Performed CPR on Historian After Yale Collapse

brandeis university

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published May 21, 2014.
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Historian Jonathan Sarna, who was hospitalized after collapsing May 17, was said to be improving on Wednesday morning, though his condition is still critical.

According to a posting on the website CarePages, Sarna’s heart and lung functions are “improving” but that he remains sedated. A spokesperson for Yale New Haven Hospital said that he was in critical condition.

“Jonathan has had a quiet 24 hours, which is what was needed,” the CarePages posting read. “We are impressed with the doctors and the nurses at Yale New Haven and very grateful to them for a lot of hard work.”

Sarna entered cardiac arrest while in New Haven for his daughter’s graduation from Yale University. A cardiologist who happened to be on the scene began performing CPR before the ambulance arrived, according to the CarePages account.

Sarna is a professor at Brandeis University, a contributing editor at the Forward, and a leading scholar of American Jewish history. He has written and edited over two dozen books on American Jewry.

Members of the Jewish community have circulated well-wishes and requests for prayers for Sarna, whose Hebrew name is Yonatan Daniel ben Haya Hadassah.

“It’s a serious situation, but we are all hoping for the best,” said Sylvia Barack Fishman, a professor at Brandeis.

Fishman said that Sarna’s family has requested that good wishes be mailed to their home in lieu of calls or emails.


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