It was a routine day. Menachem Stern, driver of ambulance donated to Ezer Mizion in memory of Dr. Nahid Maroof, had a full schedule of patients who needed to be driven to and from medical appointments. What was not on his schedule, however, as he traveled Highway One , was a sudden, traumatic crash.
Professional transportation for the disabled. Ambulance donated in memory of Dr Nahid Maroof.
The driver of one vehicle had parked his car on the shoulder to change a tire. He had already exited the car when the crash flung him ten meters away into the nearest ditch. He and nine others were wounded. In an astounding stroke of hashgacha (Divine intervention) , Mr. Stern was just driving by. A trained medic, within seconds he began triaging and treating the more severe injuries until MDA arrived on the scene.
When his help was no longer needed, Menachem continued on his route. Often it was an elderly holocaust survivor, alone in the world with no family nearby who had called Ezer Mizion to transport him to the Dialysis Center for the treatment that was keeping him alive. Or it may be a young stroke patient who would so much like to be present at his son’s graduation but without one of Ezer Mizion’s fleet of 22 ambulances which are fitted to benefit the mobility challenged, traveling would be impossible. A medical appointment, bi-weekly physical therapy, chemo treatment. The list is endless but so is the patience of the drivers for the needs of these vulnerable souls – their emotional needs no less than their physical needs.
There was the patient who was worried about his wife who was hospitalized. “Would a visit to her make you both feel better?” the driver asked. The relieved husband couldn’t believe that the driver would be adding a couple of hours to his already full day to drive him to the hospital and pick him up end of the visit. And then there was the patient who didn’t want to worry his wife and told her he was going out to learn (religious study) . So that it would not an untruth, the driver offered to learn with him after their appointment. Warmth. Caring. Respect. The hallmarks of an Ezer Mizion service.
A quadriplegic on his way home with his new bride
And now we get to Alon. A quadriplegic who watched the rest of the world marry and set up their homes, sadly knowing that none of that could be for him. Full of personality, full of thoughts and opinions, inside he felt like everyone else but his inner being was incarcerated in a body that could not move. Destined to always be looking out of the window at others, he tried to accept his lot. And suddenly it was he that was a chosson (groom), he who was preparing for the wedding of the century. There is always a myriad of details in preparing for a wedding but in his case, the logistics surpassed them all. Transportation was on top of the list and that is where Ezer Mizion came in. The Dr. Nahid Maroof ambulance was chosen for the job and Menachem Stern, its certified driver, was thrilled to merit the mitzvah of bringing him to the Sheva Brochos (week-long celebration after wedding) . Mr. Stern remained at the festivities and, at the end of the evening, brought Alon and his new kallah (bride) back to their newly created home. May it be blessed.