Stories of everyday heroes certainly give me inspiration whenever I read about them. This is one of those stories. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.
The following was written by Yoni Uziyahu – Rehovot, EMT-B. I translated and am reprinting it with his permission.
“Yesterday, I was sitting in my garden enjoying the afternoon sun and a snooze, when I suddenly heard the muffled screams of a woman from nearby. It took me a second to recognize that the woman was screaming “Help me!”
I ran at full speed out of my garden and into the street. Two or three houses down from mine, a woman was standing outside holding a baby and screaming for help. The infant was about a year-and-a-half old and the mother was highly agitated. It was not yet clear what the problem was. I took the baby into my arms and I tried to calm the mother so that I could find out what the matter was. After a few seconds, the baby coughed and the mother told me that the baby had choked on something that she was eating.
Another one of the neighbors grabbed a phone and called for an ambulance. While he was on the phone with the ambulance dispatcher I told him to let them know that there was already an EMT first responder on scene and that the incident was of a choking child and that they should hurry. I also told them to call United Hatzalah’s dispatch center and alert them to the emergency as well in order to send backup.
I put the child on my hand and with the other, I began searching in her mouth for a foreign object with my pinky finger. When I saw the foreign object lodged in her throat, I turn her over on her stomach and proceeded to remove the object that was blocking her airway.
At this point, a number of onlookers had gathered to see what the commotion was. Once it became clear what was happening they offered assistance and then applauded when I succeeded in removing the foreign object from the baby’s mouth and she began breathing once again. After the object was removed, I turned back to the mother and began calming her and reassuring her that the danger to her daughter was over. I told her that her daughter was also in some emotional distress and that she should turn her attention to calming her daughter who was thankfully screaming.
I am extremely proud that I was able to help save this child’s life. It is because of my training that this young girl is now healthy. There is no feeling in the world like that of saving someone’s life, and I will be eternally grateful to United Hatzalah for enabling me to have participated in such a lofty endeavor.”