“Last Saturday night I was working as the shift manager for United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center in Jerusalem. One of our dispatchers, Eliezer Taib, received a phone call from a woman who said that her son was in a hospital in New York and was suffering from Pneumothorax. She said that this was the third time that he received this diagnosis and was calling to ask if we knew of anyone with medical experience who could go to him in New York and take a look at him as she felt that the hospital wasn’t doing their job properly.
I asked Eliezer to transfer the call to my station. The woman told me that her son was learning in a Yeshiva in Monsey. As I had spent some time in New York I told her that I knew a few paramedics there who might be able to help her. She told me what the name of the hospital was. From my own research, I knew it to be not ranked highly for the care they offer their patients. I called one of my friends and he said he’d find a paramedic to head over there and take a look.
The paramedic responded and said that the hospital was horrible and also reported on the condition of the boy. I thanked him and called my sister who lives in New York to see if she could help organize kosher meals for the boy. She called some friends and found out that no organization that prepares meals for sick patients has ever heard of this hospital. She took it upon herself to find an ambulance that would get the boy transferred to a better hospital, as he needed to undergo surgery to make sure that the problem didn’t come back or God forbid kill him. She found an ambulance that would do the transfer and made sure that the boy’s insurance company would cover the fees for both the transfer and the surgery.
Following their agreement, she sent the boy to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and he underwent surgery on Wednesday. Thankfully the surgery was a success and the boy is now recuperating in a much better facility that even offers him kosher food as a meal option.
“This is just one instance that taught me that going the extra mile can make a world of difference for another person. For each and every call that we receive at the dispatch center, we need to go the extra mile for the person on the other side of the call. So thank you to all my fellow dispatchers that evening and the wonderful good-hearted people in New York for helping make this story a success of human character.”
On Thursday I received a letter from the mother of the boy. “Good morning. Thank God and thank you that everything worked out so well. It was like the Entebbe mission. I don’t want to think about what might have happened had my son stayed in that awful hospital or had he not received the surgery he needed. My entire family expresses our most heartfelt gratitude to you and to United Hatzalah for the dedication and devotion that they have for the work of saving lives. You are true angels whose very actions sanctify God’s name publicly.””
– Yoseph Lieberman
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