15-year-old Holon resident saves neighbor’s baby

Baby swallows foreign object that lodged in throat, obstructing airway and causing severe difficulty breathing; EMTs trained son intervenes.

Mordechai Sones,

Baby or child first aid training for choking
Baby or child first aid training for choking

The fifteen-year-old son of a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT saved the life of an eight-month-old baby Monday evening in Holon.

The baby had swallowed a foreign object that lodged in its throat and was obstructing the baby's airway, causing severe difficulty breathing. The worried parents ran the baby to their neighbor’s house, the home of Rabbi Nir Dorfman, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT. Dorfman was abroad performing circumcisions in Spain and Russia, however, all was not lost. Dorfman’s son, Netanel, took matters into his own hands in an attempt to save the baby’s life.

Netanel took hold of the choking infant, and following emergency medical service protocol turned it over on its stomach and began performing measured back slaps between the infant’s shoulders. Netanel asked those around him to call United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center in order to request that EMS teams be rushed over to assist.

The first responder arrived in just over 60 seconds to the house. However, the only thing left for him to do was to calm the parents and wait for the ambulance, as Netanel had succeeded in extricating the foreign object from the baby’s mouth. Netanel had saved the baby before the first EMT arrived. He had learned what to do from taking a Family Safety course offered by United Hatzalah in his community.

Netanel’s father was contacted abroad and told of the heroic rescue that his son performed. He said in response: “When I heard about how my son saved our neighbor’s baby tonight I was very moved. Here I am, an active volunteer in the organization’s network of first responders and I give Family Safety classes now and then in our community and to my family. The classes teach the basic procedures of how to begin providing first aid and save a life in certain situations, such as choking and CPR. I was overjoyed to hear that my son carried out the procedures needed to save this baby in a proper fashion and that he was successful in saving the baby. May all emergencies turn out with such success. I'm incredibly proud of Netanel.”

United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer said: “It's stories such as this that prove the importance of our community projects such as the Family Safety course. People who need help shouldn’t have to wait for an ambulance or even a first responder. Everyone should know what to do in a situation like this, just like Netanel did. If people know what to do, they won't freeze but act as the heroic Netanel did and more lives can be saved. I want to thank Netanel for his actions and I hope that when he's old enough, he'll follow in his father’s footsteps and become an active volunteer. It's our goal to make sure there are people who know what to do and will respond to emergencies in every community in Israel.”