Wheels That Make Their World Go ‘Round

A few months ago, Yisrael Tayri, head of the Ambulance Division, received a call from an Ezer Mizion volunteer at a Jerusalem hospital. She had a special request: A young woman with cancer wants to get to the sea, and in her situation, there is no way of getting there without an ambulance, including medical equipment in case of emergency, and a medical staff accompanying the ride. “The time schedule at the Division is set each day for the next day. All of my ambulances were already taken. I told her to talk to me the next day. But the answer I got led me to understand that, in this case, there’s no guaranteeing that there would be a ‘next day’…

Giving on Wheels

So I got to work finding a solution.  For two hours I tried to juggle the time schedule so that it wouldn’t inconvenience the others, but would free up an ambulance for the girl in question.”

Ezer Mizion volunteers in Jerusalem and friends of the girl decorated the ambulance with a red carpet and colorful balloons and left the hospital with the girl, medical staff, and the girl’s family. When they got to the beach, they found more relatives there, who had come especially to make her happy, and also — yes — to say goodbye. The sick girl spent an entire thrilling afternoon at the sea, on the beach and in the water, surrounded by people who love her.

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“She told me that she returned to the hospital so happy,” Tayri shares. “And the next day, at nine in the morning, they called to tell me that she was gone…”

Yigal is an Israeli entertainer. Let’s make that past tense. He was an Israeli entertainer before he was afflicted with the disease that did not allow him to walk even a few steps and  transfer from bed to wheelchair was done with a lift. Life, as he knew it was over and Yigal was slowly crawling into a deep, black, black hole to await the end. After a year and a half, his natural positivity rallied and he began to crawl out from under. It was not long before he was filming again and his first film was about himself. His story and that there is ‘life after emotional death’. But filming is complex and cannot be done from a ‘black hole’. How did he get from his home to the studio? “I couldn’t have done it without Ezer Mizion,” he says.

At Ezer Mizion’s Ambulance Division, skilled drivers with an EMT certificate, work around the clock. 21 ambulances do about 4,000 trips a month. All of the vehicles are equipped with vital medical and mobility equipment, and the drivers assist with a smile, an attitude of respect and lots of energy – not only driving the passenger to their destination, but also helping them get from the house to the ambulance and back. The goal? How can we make the patient feel valued? How can we add some cheer to his day? Transport by Ezer Mizion’s ambulance network ensures more than a safe ride; it provides a pleasant and unique experience that often serves as a ray of light in the midst of a complex period of struggle.


Second Day of Retirement

She had plans for retirement but…

During the past year, Ima (mother) planned her life after retirement. Ima is a woman who is young in spirit. She worked hard all her life; she would go to work at a quarter to seven in the morning and come home exhausted in the late afternoon hours.

On the first day of her retirement, all of the children and grandchildren came to celebrate with her. We prepared a festive meal and a game based on our memories of Ima’s working days, which were an inseparable part of the beautiful childhood she gave us. It was a beautiful evening, full of family reminiscences. We all wished Ima many good, healthy years and that she should succeed in filling them with all of her wonderful plans, and each of us went on her way.

The next day, Ima had a stroke. Abba found her lying unconscious on the kitchen floor when he came back from prayer services. All of the smiles and happiness of yesterday turned into hot tears. For twenty-four hours that felt like an eternity, Ima fought for her life. When we saw a small smile on the doctor’s face, we heaved a sigh of relief. He reported that Ima had survived the stroke, but that a long and complex period of rehabilitation lay before her. It was a good thing that we didn’t know what the future held, because we might have given up then and there.

I met your first volunteer at Tel Hashomer, when I was looking for a ride to take me home so I could rest a bit. He told me about “Linked to Life,” your myriad of volunteers who are connected online and who respond to requests for rides from hospitals. He gave me the number of headquarters. That was our first contact. I cannot even describe the amount of help we got from you — the information, the encouragement, the costly medical equipment that you lent us for Ima’s rehabilitation, the nourishing meals you brought every single day, the countless taxi rides that you saved us…Please understand that it was not only the money you saved us but the hassle of dealing with rides when we had no emotional energy left. The Ezer Mizion drivers took all the hassle upon themselves and bent over backwards to make things easy for us, physically and emotionally.

Ezer Mizion transportation services available for family members to and from hospital

Yesterday Ima returned home after many long months. It is self-understood that it was your ambulance that brought her home and that your volunteer sent a cake… In the evening, I sat with Abba. He was tired but happy about Ima’s return. Then he took out a paper where he’d made an accounting, to the best of his ability, of all the money you saved us since Ima’s stroke. We couldn’t believe what a large sum it had come to! Abba wrote a check from Ima’s monthly pension (attached), in tremendous appreciation to the organization that stands behind all the wonderful people that we met! But all the emotional support, all the handling of logistics again and again and again—that can never be paid back. You really strengthened us! Tizku l’mitzvos smeichos (may you merit to continue your mitzvos)!

Countless patients have returned home after being released from hospital via Ezer Mizion transportation services. Countless more are able to go to dialysis, therapy, clinic appointments etc. only because of Ezer Mizion transportation services.