Agudath Israel is grateful to Mount Sinai Hospital for highlighting the important work done by Chayim Aruchim, a project of Agudath Israel. In a press release on June 3, 2021, Mount Sinai hospital recognized the important role Chayim Aruchim played in ensuring a 104 year old woman was able to receive heart surgery. See
here for more about Chayim Aruchim.
The Agudah created Chayim Aruchim in 2010 to help those who sadly found themselves in end-of-life situations. They were often denied care due to a growing trend in the medical community that limited or withheld treatment for such patients, often with catastrophic results. Since its inception, Chayim Aruchim has focused on building strong relationships with physicians and medical facilities in an effort to promote greater cultural sensitivity, an effort that has yielded many positive results, adding months and even years of life to cherished members of our society. Additionally, the members of Chayim Aruchim's Rabbinical Committee are on call around the clock. Medically trained rabbonim are available to render decisions in complex medical situations that take into account all applicable halachic and medical factors.
When Shirley Farca was told by a New Jersey hospital where her 104 year old mother had been admitted for heart failure that there was nothing they could do in the early summer of 2020, and she should consider hospice, Shirley thought perhaps that was a good idea. Her mom would get medications to keep her comfortable and be seen by a team of providers, But her son was not on the same page. He told his mother he was going to call a physician and some trusted Rabbis and would get back to her. That same day, he arranged for an ambulance to take his grandmother to Mount Sinai Hospital.
At Mount Sinai, Samin Sharma, MD , Director of Clinical and Interventional Cardiology, and President of Mount Sinai Heart Network performed a Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly on her mother, She did so well, she was discharged two days later.
This technique of TAVR is a real game changer," says Dr. Shrma. "It provides hope to many patients suffering from aortic stenosis who cannot undergo open heart surgery due to frailty, old age, and associated medical conditions."
Shirley credits the physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital for her mom's return to health as well as Rabbi Menachem Horowitz, who works in spiritual care at Mount Sinai and is a consultant to numerous Manhattan hospitals through Chayim Aruchim a project of Agudas Yisroel of America. Indeed after turning 105 years old, her mom attended her granddaughter's wedding.