Just before 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center received notification of a young child who was choking at his home. The frantic mother of the child called emergency services for help. The incident took place on Ben Gurion Street in Hod Hasharon. The nine-month-old choking infant was losing consciousness. Dispatchers sent out the urgent alert to all available responders in the area.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and ambucycle driver Aharon Avital, is a magician who lives in Elad and works most of the time in the city of Hod Hasharon, performing live magic shows and goes by the name Aharon HaKosem (the Hebrew word for Magician). Aharon had just finished responding to another medical emergency of a person suffering chest pains nearby the location of the choking infant. Upon receiving the emergency alert, Aharon jumped back on his ambucycle and rushed to the location.
When he arrived the mother thrust the choking baby into his arms. Aharon quickly noticed that the child’s skin had already started to turn a bluish hue, signifying that the child was asphyxiating. He began the infant Heimlich maneuver alternating between administering measured back blows and then chest compressions. After a few times alternating between the two, the infant spit out a small object that had been lodged in his throat and after gasping some air let out a shrill cry.
The sound brought joy to both the mother’s and the responder’s ears. The baby was alive. When the ambulance arrived, Aharon briefed the crew on what had happened and then transferred the baby to be taken with the mother to the hospital for further checkups and care.
“I had just finished responding to another emergency when Dispatch notified me about the incident and said that no one else had responded yet. I am so thankful that I was able to bring this child back to life. Seeing him already blue made me worry about whether or not I would be able to bring him back, but implementing what I know in this instance, brought this child who was not breathing back to life. I am very thankful for being able to play my part in helping this child and I hope he grows up to have a long and healthy life.”
To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah volunteers like Aharon, please click here: