CPR course at Boca Regional Hospital helped to save toddler’s life
BOCA RATON – When people take a CPR training course, they often wonder if they will ever be called on to use it.
For Boynton Beach resident, Talisha Torres, a 24-year-old teacher at Manatee Elementary School in Lake Worth, that answer came a lo
t sooner than she expected.
Talisha credits the training she received through the “Family and Friends” cardiopulmonary resuscitation program at BRRH for helping her save the life of a toddler left in her care for babysitting.
Education is the key to prevention. Or, at least that’s what Posie Whelan thought when she asked family friend, Talisha, to take the CPR course. Talisha works part time for the family as a nanny over the summer months, babysitting the family’s 13-month-old son, Christopher. She completed the CPR training class this past May.
The class teaches parents, grandparents and babysitters how to handle life-threatening situations in infants, toddlers and children, which includes the infant Heimlich maneuver.
While Talisha was babysitting the toddler, Christopher began choking when a green bean lodged in his windpipe during his feeding. When Talisha noticed he was struggling to breathe, she immediately began to administer the infant Heimlich maneuver.
She whisked the baby out of his highchair and slung him downward on her knee and hit him five times on the back, just as she was instructed to do back in May. The green bean was finally dislodged and she was relieved when she heard him crying and breathing properly. This was the first time she had ever used the maneuver.
Talisha credits her recent CPR/Heimlich training for providing her with the knowledge and the confidence to act quickly and correctly in what could have been a life-threatening situation.
“People don’t know that with infants and toddlers the CPR/ Heimlich procedure is performed differently,” said Talisha “I would not have known to place the baby over the knee had I not taken the class. I’m just amazed that I remembered what to do. The incident all happened so quickly and under such a desperate situation, all the training comes back to you.”
Posie Whelan, who works for Brian Bernick, MD, an obstetrics/gynecologist on staff at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, praised the hospital’s CPR course. “Talisha kept her head and stayed cool. I’m really proud of her.”
The evening class was taught by American Heart Association CPR instructors Nicole Holoboff and Richard Alvarez. Ironically Richard is Talisha’s cousin. “It’s strange how all things were set in motion for me to take this class,” she said. “It was almost like it was destiny.”
BRRH offers the Family and Friends CPR classes at 6 p.m. every Wednesday in the Charles E. & Dorothy F. Schmidt Education Center in classroom B. An infant-only CPR class is offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. the last Saturday of the month for parents of new-born infants. Parents may bring their infants to the class. The cost of the class is $20 per person and pre-registration is required. Call 561-955-4468 to register or for additional information about other CPR classes offered by the hospital.