ambulance IMG_2569“I’m sorry I’m a little late,” the Ezer Mizion driver apologized to his wheelchair –bound patient whom he was scheduled to drive to the clinic. The patient, like so many others, who have no way of traveling to the clinic on their own, had been a bit concerned when his ride was late. A taxi, as expensive as it is, would not do, since he needed a vehicle that could accommodate his sitting in his wheelchair and what taxi driver would be amenable to carrying him down two flights of stairs! The Ezer Mizion drivers  were all so kind and respectful. They would make a point of talking to him about his life when he was younger as they carried him down so that he would be able to maintain his dignity in the face of a highly undignified situation. Now the driver was here and all was well.

“I was on my way to you on time,” the driver continued, “when there, right in front of my eyes, a man collapsed on the street.  Thank G-d I was there. I’m a trained medic so I was able to take care of him. Then I drove him to the hospital to be admitted. I think he’ll be ok.”

By now, he was seated comfortably  in the ambulance. “You’ll call as soon as you’re ready. OK?” the driver reminded. “I’ll be there on the double as long as no one else collapses.” “Take good care of my friend here,” he says to the nurse at the desk as he wheels the patient into the waiting room.  In a moment, he was out the hospital doors anxious to be on time for the dialysis patient who was next on his list. Had he turned around, he would have noticed the bright smile on the face of his patient. It feels good when someone really cares about you.

With its fleet of 18 ambulances, Ezer Mizion drivers make hundreds of calls every day bringing the disabled to clinics, therapy sessions, dialysis. A few slots are reserved for ‘Dream Days’ enabling the patient to visit an equally disabled relative that he may not have seen in years, touch the stones of the Kotel once more or visit the neighborhood where he had lived so many eons ago. As with all of Ezer Mizion’s services, there is no charge to the client.

The driver was on time to pick up his patient. No one collapsed. The return trip was uneventful but, in truth, it was a major event in the life of the patient. “How was the treatment? Painful? Would you like to stop at the park for a change of scenery? I would buy you an ice cream to celebrate that it’s over for the day.” Surrounded day after day in loneliness, a touch of compassion lights up his day.