Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs after responding to an emergency in Beit Shemesh (archive).

On Monday afternoon at around 4:30 p.m., a 3-and-a-half-year-old boy was visiting his grandparents in Beit Shemesh and eating an orange with them in the kitchen when a piece of the fruit became lodged in his throat. His grandparents panicked and tried to help, but as the boy was turning blue and fading into unconsciousness from lack of oxygen, they called emergency services for help.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Yechiel Rosenberg and Asaf Truzman were nearby when the call went out. They rushed over and arrived in just 40 seconds.

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“We checked the boy’s vitals and found that both his pulse and his breathing were very weak and almost non-existent,” Yechiel reported. “We removed whatever food was lodged in his throat and blocked his airway, and also had to tap the boy on the back a few times to force out anything that was deeper down.”

While Asaf connected a respiratory mask to provide the boy with oxygen, Yechiel kept his fingers constantly on the boy’s pulse to make sure that it was steady, no matter how weak. After some three minutes of assisted breathing, Yechiel felt a stall in the toddler’s pulse, and then there was none at all. As soon as the pulse dissipated, the EMTs urgently moved the boy to a more accessible place and radioed the United Hatzalah dispatch center that they were starting CPR.

After two minutes of chest compressions, an intensive care ambulance arrived, and the EMTs from the ambulance joined the effort to save the boy’s life. Yechiel said, “The boy’s pulse and breathing returned miraculously not long after, although he was still in serious condition. The resuscitation didn’t take long, but there were several stressful minutes when I was really worried about this boy.”

“The life-saving operations we performed on the young boy miraculously helped him regain a pulse and independent breathing,” Assaf said after the incident. “We were all thankful that the boy was alive. After he had been stabilized he was evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem for further tests and treatment.”

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