When Lital Halperin participated in United Hatzalah’s first-aid course two weeks ago, she did not know that only two days after finishing the course she would need the training to save her own daughter’s life.

Lital is a mother of three and lives in Mitzpe Ramon, where she participated in a Mishpaha Betucha (Safe Family) first-aid training course run by United Hatzalah. During the four-hour course, parents learn basic first-aid procedures that can save lives in the home. Among the things taught in the course are basic CPR, clearing airway obstructions, and how to stop arterial bleeding and other serious bleeds.

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“I always believed that it is important for me to know how to provide basic first aid for those around me,” said Halperin, “but I never thought that I would need this training so quickly after I finished it and for my own child.”  

Halperin told of how her daughter Mili, a nine-month-old baby, choked on a small piece of plastic that she had managed to put in her mouth. “We were at home on Tuesday and I saw that she was struggling to breathe and I understood that something was terribly wrong. My daughter was choking. Instead of panicking, the training kicked in and I immediately began checking her. I turned my daughter over on her stomach I began slapping her on the back to help her dislodge the obstruction, just like we were taught. After a few back slaps, my daughter Mili spat out a chunk of plastic that she had swallowed. Upon seeing Mili go back to breathing regularly, I began to relax. I had saved my daughter.”

After reflecting upon the experience, Lital said, that “I believe that every parent should take this first aid course. It gives a person a sense of confidence and the knowledge we need in order to save the lives of those we love, the lives of our children.”  

Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah said, “the Mishpaha Betucha first-aid course is an initiative of national importance whose goal is to save lives across the country. Those who have taken the course have managed to prevent numerous tragedies within their own families and communities.”

Beer said that immediate response provided by a parent or family member can be invaluable when dealing with emergencies that require immediate attention. “First-aid provided by family members immediately after a medical emergency occurs saves lives. This holds true for adults as well as children. Parents who take the course are given the tools necessary to be able to save the lives of their loved ones in their own homes as well as their neighbors. The help that they provide in the first few minutes is invaluable.”