My name is Moriah Dorfman. I am an 18-year-old girl from Bat Yam and I recently saved the life of my 6-year-old sister. This past June I completed a first-aid course that I took through United Hatzalah as part of the “Ten Kavod” project in which volunteers conduct weekly wellness visits with assigned senior citizens throughout Israel in order to alleviate their sense of loneliness and provide them with free medical checkups that serve as preventative care. My father is the coordinator for the project in the city of Bat Yam. When I finished the course, I didn’t think I would need to apply what I learned so quickly in order to save a life, especially the life of someone so close to me.

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Moriah Dorfman and her little sister Miriam

On Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, Thursday the 30th of June at 5:00 PM, I was watching my younger siblings at home while my father, Rabbi Nir Dorfman, who is a renowned mohel, was in Germany for a brit milah. I was in the room when I heard my one-year-old brother Yehuda cry out. I went to see why he was crying and when I arrived in the living room my sister Yael screamed, “Moriah! Miriam (our 6-year-old sister) is choking. Do something!”

I looked at her and froze, struggling to believe what I was seeing. Miriam was holding her neck with both hands and her face had turned blue. Yael told me she had choked on a round candy.

I quickly regained my composure and immediately initiated the Heimlich maneuver in order to push the candy out of her throat. Thank God, within a few seconds it came out and Miriam started breathing once again. I looked at her face and saw that it was regaining its usual color.

While making sure not to lose eye contact with my sister, I called United Hatzalah’s medical dispatch number 1221. I told them that my 6-year-old sister had choked and although I had managed to get the object out, I wanted an EMT to come and make sure that she was out of danger. Less than 90 seconds later, two EMTs had arrived and after giving Miriam a check-up, they congratulated me on saving her life. They said that if I hadn’t been home or hadn’t known what to do in this life-threatening situation, Miriam wouldn’t be with us anymore.

I am grateful to Hashem (God) who allowed me to be at the right place at the right time and who made sure that I was equipped with the knowledge that I needed to save my sister’s life. I feel a tremendous sense of pride and recommend that everyone who reads this take a first-aid course because no one knows when a person nearby, or even a loved one, will God forbid be at risk and need immediate intervention.

“Whoever saves one life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world”

Moriah Dorfman, a proud volunteer with United Hatzalah’s “Ten Kavod” project in Bat Yam.

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