A Hero Goes Home

No patient should have to feel helpless and certainly not a hero who saved countless others from being killed. We here at Ezer Mizion are ready for them, fulfilling their needs, whatever they may be.

June 20, 2023. The date of a murderous shooting attack carried out by two Palestinian terrorists at a gas station near the town of Eli. Four Israelis were killed in the attack. Four more were wounded. The two terrorists who executed the attack were killed, one at the scene of the attack and the other, after a chase by security forces.

 How was the first terrorist neutralized? Incredibly, the hero was one of the attack victims. Matanya Olami, himself critically injured, was in horrific pain which threatened to engulf him in a sea of agony. On his way to take care of a casual errand, he was suddenly catapulted into a tsunami of horror. Drowning in fear, he nevertheless knew what he had to do. There were other innocent bystanders…potential victims. The terrorist continued to shoot, to maim, to kill. Until Matanya took aim. And the terrorist was no more.

It was not till a full month, July 25th , that Matanya was well enough to be released from the hospital. Ezer Mizion, who had been there for him and his family during his month-long stay, was there ‘with bells on’ to greet him as he received the release papers. Still wheelchair-bound, he was gently wheeled onto the Ezer Mizion ambulance fitted with all that is needed for the mobility impaired. This ambulance had been donated by New York’s most benevolent supporters, Paul Maroof of The Royal Chain, Philip Maroof and Natalie and Dr. Rob Amirian in memory of  Dr. Nahid Maroof a”h 

The assigned driver was Menachem Stern, who, like all Ezer Mizion drivers, handled Matanya with gentleness and dignity. Thrilled to be able to repay in a small way this valiant, altruistic person-of-the-hour, Mr. Stern eagerly responded yes to his request to stop at the site of the attack and spend a few extra minutes to thank the Creator by saying Birkat Hagomel at the place where he nearly lost his life.

 From there, they continued to his home in Alon Moreh, where he was enthusiastically welcomed by scores of local residents, his family, neighbors and friends with joy and gratitude to Hashem (G-d) for His kindness.

The Dr. Nahid Maroof ambulance, its job now done, continued on to others. Cancer patients on their way for chemo treatment. The elderly, desperately trying to maintain their independence but unable to travel on their own to clinic appointments. And occasionally, when there is a slot open, to fulfill the dream of a housebound holocaust survivor to visit a relative or daven (pray) at the kosel (Western Wall).

It is one of a giant fleet of ambulances criss-crossing the highways of Eretz Yisroel (Israel) , a welcome sight indeed for so many.  

Heroism is catchy. A compassionate benefactor, upon hearing of Matanya’s bravery, wished to contribute in his own way by sponsoring a new, fully equipped, much needed ambulance to join the fleet. He asked that Matanya and his family join an event for held for those courageous young people trying to live a productive life in spite of the disabilities caused by CP. The new ambulance will add much to their ability to get from here to there. And so hero met heroes at a dedication of an ambulance that will benefit both, donated by a caring sponsor who recognizes heroism when he sees it.