Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Tishrei 5769 - October 7, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Magen Lacholeh Races to Fly Three-Week-Old Patient to Jerusalem

By Yechiel Sever

Residents of Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan neighborhood are already accustomed to these sights, but once again seeing Magen Lacholeh volunteers dispatching extensive medical equipment from its office facility on Shabbos and loading it onto an ambulance for a patient being transported to Eretz Yisroel for urgent medical treatment sanctified the Name of Heaven and made a powerful impression on all those who witnessed the selfless workers in action.

The incident began with an urgent phone call on Friday afternoon to Rabbi Binyomin Fisher, the chairman of the organization. On the other end of the line was the leader of the Jewish community in a certain Ukrainian city asking for assistance for a three-week-old baby born prematurely with heart and digestive tract defects who had undergone treatment by local physicians but whose condition was deteriorating.

After collecting all of the medical documents, Rabbi Fisher came to the family's aid by contacting the medical center where the infant is currently hospitalized and looking into facilities in Israel where it could receive proper care. A quick inquiry revealed only the intensive care unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem had room for the infant.

Meanwhile the air transport department at Magen Lacholeh contacted Luksemburg Tours in Bnei Brak to make arrangements with the airport authorities and El Al, obtaining permission for the onboard medical equipment and the medical staff escorts.

All of the arrangements were set shortly before Shabbos, at which time the Magen Lacholeh staff started preparing the medical equipment needed for the transport operation, scheduled to take place on Motzei Shabbos. The extensive equipment — including a special mobile incubator, an innovative LifePack, respirators and drugs — was prepared and packaged for the flight and checked by the cardiologist and ICU nurse slated to escort the patient.

Due to the infant's worsening condition and complications with the flight schedule, the plane had to leave Israel before Shabbos ended. When Rabbi Fisher received an update on the situation he immediately ordered Magen Lacholeh to activate its Shabbos mode, designed to minimize chilul Shabbos in such situations. A non-Jew picked up the people needed for the transport, brought them to the office, prepared the paperwork and made photocopies, all under the guidance of HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth.

Upon the arrival of the patient and mother in Israel early Sunday morning, a Magen Lacholeh ambulance was waiting on the tarmac with senior medical staffers on hand. Following initial checks the patient was transported directly to the ICU at Hadassah Ein Kerem for a comprehensive treatment program and Magen Lacholeh reports that through chasdei Shomayim the baby's condition has stabilized.


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