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.
Ezer Mizion’s eighteen ambulances and vehicles for transport of the disabled cruise Israel’s roads and highways almost twenty-four hours a day, providing service to as many patients and mobility-impaired as possible. For each of the passengers, this service is as indispensable as the air they breathe. Most of them are oncology or dialysis out-patients who must come to the hospital a few times a week for treatment. Some are transported by car by our thousands of volunteer drivers. For others, their physical condition precludes travel by car, even with assistance. Yet, for these patients, frequent hospital trips are essential to life. Travel via ambulance is the only option but ambulance transport is not covered by Kupat Cholim. The cost of one trip by private ambulance begins at about NIS 400. Continue reading On the Road to Life
“Books are great,” says Matityahu Kreitman, “but I wanted to get a feel for the real thing. I’m a pre-med student and, of course, I have tons of material to learn but I was anxious to develop a real understanding of the patient and, for that, I needed real patients.”
My chance came in the summer, a perfect time to fulfill my ‘volunteer hours’. I chose Ezer Mizion’s Ambulance Division. They provide transportation for the elderly and the disabled. It’s hard for me, a young guy, to imagine. When I want to go somewhere, I just go. It’s hard to get my head around the concept of someone not being capable of getting where he has to be. Continue reading Books Are Great but…
“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! Continue reading And on the way, I…
From the thoughts of Avi Sorias, an ambulance driver for Ezer Mizion
“Here,” says the young man from behind me. “At the right.”
From my place at the steering wheel, I glance at his image in the mirror. He sits there, limp and helpless, his head dropped back against the seat. His voice is soft, almost a whisper.
The vehicle, a modern Ezer Mizion ambulance, pulls up by a tall building. “Are you okay?” I ask the closed eyes behind me.
The young man, shaken, sharply pulls himself up in his seat, plastering a care-free smile on his gaunt face. “No,” he replies seriously, “but only you and I have to know that.”
He thanks me profusely for the ride, takes a deep breath, and steps out to the broad sidewalk.
The street is humming with people at this midday hour: Children are coming home from school, cheery preschoolers prance along with their colorful backpacks, busy parents rush along their way. A cat darts out from between the cars, startling a high-school girl leisurely walking home.
The young man continues along the path to the building. He stops a moment and glances at a large public bulletin board displaying freshly-pasted death notices announcing the demise of a special member of the community.
He scans it silently. I watch him and feel a stab of sadness, painfully aware of the thoughts running through his mind.
“He is so young,” I think to myself. “He has four little children at home. And so very little stands between him and a notice just like this one!” Continue reading The Other Side
Snow is a way of life for many people. Only a few inches? Ho hum. But in Israel it is a momentous event with schools closing and roads closed for even a relatively small amount of snow.
For children, it is the ultimate delight. Even parents join them in their frolicking. But the disabled who has an important doctor’s appointment, the dialysis patient who is due at the clinic that day, the frail, elderly holocaust survivor who needs to see his physician today—they are helpless without the assistance of Ezer Mizion’s Ambulance Division. Continue reading A Snow Day?