The Nose, Ear and Throat specialists at Kaplan Hospital, headed by Dr. Doron Halperin, successfully removed on Sabbath Eve a Chai / Magen David necklace with sharp edges from the throat of Talia Asraf, a 20-month-old girl.
Sharon, Talia's mother, had completed preparations for Shabbat Friday when she heard Talia coughing and choking. She ran to her and asked her is she had swallowed anything. “Talia immediately said that her throat hurts and that she's swallowed an earring,” the mother recalled.
"I called MDA and received a comprehensive explanation on what to do, and an emergency vihicle was sent with an amazing team, and the professional and polite paramedic, Yaniv Dayan,” Sharon Asraf said.
Immediately upon arrival at the Children's Emergency Ward at Kaplan Hospital, the medical team darried out an X-ray that clearly showed a Magen David medallion with sharp edges and the word Chai inside it. “I want to thank the Creator of the Universe for his endless mercy,” said Sharon, “and for sending the team of angels in white from Kaplan Hospital.”
A team on Sabbath duty, headed by Dr. Udi Katzanel, took over at the Children's Emergency Ward and determined that the sharp corners of the medallion had become embedded inside Talia's throat, just above the entrance to the esophagus, and had to be quickly removed, with the patient under general anesthesia.
“Direct observation was carried out into the throat with a delicate endosopic device that made it possible to identify and expose the foreign body safely, and to remove it carefully and very delicately, with the aid of micro-surgical clamps,” explained Dr. Katzanel.
"We were glad that no holes were caused to the esophagus and nearby organs, because these could have been life-threatening,” he added.
The doctors added that in cases of difficulty swallowing, high fever and choking, infants must be taken to a hospital or clinic. They lauded Talia's parents for their quick actions in this case.
The letters that make up "Chai" spell out "alive” and also stand for the number 18 in Hebrew numerology. The Chai has been a very popular amulet and symbol among Jews for several centuries.