What Are You Going To Do, If You Don’t Know What To Do?

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It was a typical Friday night.As Sam’s family sat around their Friday night table, none of them could have expected what was to come.

The meal was enjoyable, with good laughs, great conversation, and even better food. After a long week of work and school, it was great to be able to relax together and catch up.

As the night progressed, the younger boys went to the basement to play while Sam and his parents moved over to the den for dessert. As the cake plates were being passed around, one of the younger boys frantically burst into the den. With a look of panic and dread in his eyes, and his voice trembling, he managed to get out two words: “LOUIE’S CHOKING!!!!”

For a split second, everyone froze, gripped by shock and confusion.

They raced downstairs, and there was seven-year-old Louie hunched over, beat red, unable to breathe. Panic filled the room. Louie’s parents burst into hysteria.

Until Sam stepped in.

Upon entering the room and looking beyond the chaos to see what was happening, Sam ran over to his younger brother and began performing the Heimlich maneuver. Continually thrusting on his stomach with all his strength, Sam prayed for a miracle.

Just a few seconds later – though it seemed like light-years for everyone present – a bright white sucking candy shot out of Louie’s mouth across the room. He quickly regained his breathing, and soon after, the color in his face.

The room was silent. Everyone just stared at Sam and Louie, in utter disbelief at what they had just witnessed. His parents were in shock. No one was able to get a word out.

Sam broke the silence, stating, “I knew what to do thanks to Blink.”

A few days later, Sam stood in front of an auditorium full of seniors in Flatbush High School preparing to take the two-hour CPR course run by the Blink organization, and he shared this story. 

“No one warned us that this was going to happen on Friday night,” Sam noted to the students. “No one told us that Louie was going to choke. It just happened. And thank Gd, I knew what to do because of this program that you’re about to take.

“I was sitting in your chair two years ago, contemplating whether to take this course seriously or not, along with the rest of my classmates. Thank Gd, I made the right decision, because this past Friday night, it saved my brother Louie.”

Sam’s story is Blink’s 43rd “save story” since its establishment in 2014. Parents have saved their infants, children have saved their aging parents, and countless years have been added onto the lives of those who nearly lost it all. All thanks to some simple life-saving knowledge and basic training.

In just five years, Blink has trained over 8,000 community members in CPR, preparing them to save lives.

This summer, Blink will hold its fifth annual Blink Week, a string of standalone CPR classes in Brooklyn & Deal that are open to the community free of charge. The classes are very small and intimate, led by dedicated instructors who ensure the participants leave with full confidence. All the night classes are open to men and women, fully separate with gender-appropriate instructors, and the day classes are open to women only.

All you need to do is come to one 90-minute class. If you’ve taken the class before, come again - it never hurts to freshen up. And if you’ve yet to take a class, what are you waiting for?

We pray that we’ll never need to use the skills taught in Blink classes, but you’d rather know what to do and not need it, than not know what to do if you do need it.

Hatzalah can generally get there within two minutes after receiving a call, but those first 120 seconds before they arrive on the scene are oftentimes the difference between life and death.

Whether it’s a heart attack victim, somebody choking, or a swimmer lifted from the bottom of a pool, you need to act immediately.

If it’s a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle, a father or mother, or your very own child, those few seconds will last a lifetime.

And what are you going to do, if you don’t know what to do?

Saving a Choking Nephew

Vivian walked into her kitchen one Sunday afternoon and saw the babysitter feeding her nine-month-old nephew rice and beans as he sat in his highchair. Everything seemed fine.

A few minutes later, Vivian heard her nephew let out a slight cough. She turned around and, feeling that something wasn’t right, unstrapped the baby from the highchair. Suddenly, the baby’s face started turning purple – he was choking on his lunch!

Vivian immediately grabbed her nephew out of the high chair, laid him across her arm and started giving him back blows. With every blow, she became increasingly fearful that her baby nephew may have swallowed way too much at once. His face was getting more and more purple by the second.

As tears rolled down her face, Vivian continued to give it her all, fearing the worst but praying for the best. With one more hard blow, a full clump of rice and beans came shooting out of her nephew's mouth and he began to breathe again.

Two years earlier, Vivian had taken one of Blink’s summer classes. That afternoon, the information she learned enabled her to save her nephew's life.

Counselor to the Rescue

David was watching over his campers in the pool as they splashed away. A few of them were racing from end to end while others were trying to see how long they could hold their breath underwater before coming up for air. Benny (his name has been changed for anonymity) was always excellent at that game, but on this day, things didn’t seem right - he was way too good. David realized something was wrong, and as he peered into the water, he noticed Benny’s body begin to float to the top of the water, his face pale, his lips purple, and his body still as can be.

David immediately jumped into the water, dragged Benny out and began CPR. He pounded his fists into Benny’s chest and tried his hardest to breathe life into his lifeless camper.

Within two minutes, David felt Benny’s body begin to move again as he started to spit up water. Hatzalah soon showed up on scene and they took over from there.

That night at the hospital, the paramedics asked David what had transpired in those few minutes before they arrived on scene. After hearing him describe that afternoon’s traumatic events, the paramedics turned to David and said, “You saved this boy’s life. Had you not done what you did, he most likely would not have made it.”

Thank Gd, Benny made a full recovery that night, and he was back in camp just a few days later.

David called Blink the next day and said, “Thank you. I saved a boy yesterday with the training you gave me just one week ago.”