Down, Down, Down Until…

Dear Ezer Mizion Volunteers,

You know me as “Moshe the dialysis patient,” who has many other problems that are secondary effects of my kidney disease. You did not know me before, when I used to run on my two feet, get up before dawn for my Daf Yomi shiur (Talmud lecture), daven vasikin (pray early with sunrise), come home and help my wife get the children out, rush to another eight-hour work day at the carpentry shop, and then return for my shiur (lecture) in shul (synagogue) and Maariv (evennig prayers).

I was a strong person, until an aggressive bacterium attacked my kidneys and quickly knocked them out of use. I started undergoing enervating dialysis treatments 3 times a week. At first I would travel by bus, trying with all my strength to at least get to davening (prayers)and a bit to the carpentry shop. But, to my sorrow, the situation declined. Physically and emotionally.  I did not have the energy or the desire to meet anyone. I didn’t feel like leaving the house and seeing other people. I traveled to the hospital by taxi and that ate up the allotment I got from Bituach Leumi. With time, my condition deteriorated further and, today, my legs are almost non-functioning and I am labeled an invalid. My wheelchair has become an inseparable part of me.

But it was actually because of the wheelchair that things began to go up. Even traveling by taxi became impossible and  I was advised  to call Ezer Mizion for ambulance transport. How much worse could things get but I didn’t have a choice and I called. Well, you provided the transportation and so very much more.   Since then, I have become a beloved family member to you and to all the dedicated volunteers, who today are my closest friends.

Suddenly I discovered that some of your devoted volunteers live right near me. They come every day to take me down to davening and to learn with me, releasing my wife from the heavy burden of caring for me around the clock.

About a week ago, Shimon, the volunteer who is closest to me, surprised me with the news that he’d spoken with my boss about the possibility of returning for a few hours of work a day. He suggested that I act as a supervisor, since I am a professional worker who can contribute a lot, even if I am not capable of lifting and sawing wooden panels. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Shimon started taking me to the shop after Shacharis (morning services). (Tuesday is a dialysis day). I was so happy to discover that I could also do delicate finishing work that can be done while sitting! This change dramatically improved my state of mind. I feel that my life has been restored to me as a gift.

I want to thank each and every one of you for returning the flavor to my life, and especially Shimon, who organized the whole thing with dedication and efficiency. Hashem should bless you with all good things!

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