On Sunday around 3:00 p.m., Yehuda Amitay and Meir Vaanunu were transferring elderly patients to receive their Covid-19 vaccines in Jerusalem. When they arrived at the home of the next person they were supposed to transfer, a man in his 70s, the pair of volunteers came across a most disturbing sight. The man who was awaiting transfer was blind and had not left his apartment in Jerusalem in over two years. His apartment was in total disarray as he was incapable of cleaning it, and to make matters worse, he had no food in his fridge or cupboards.
“When the man opened the door, we were hit with a nauseating smell of mold,” Yehuda commented. “It was truly terrible, Meir and I were mortified. We asked a neighbor, ‘Who had been taking care of the blind man all this time?’ The neighbor replied that the residents of the building had offered countless times to help, but the man refused to let anyone in his apartment. The neighbor proceeded to say that some humanitarian organizations would leave food at the door, but no one has been inside for years.”
Appalled by the sheer mess and horrible stench, Yehuda and Meir helped the man down to the ambulance and headed to the vaccination center in Jerusalem located in the Arena. While at the arena, the man asked for a cup of coffee. Before leaving the man had drunk five cups of coffee, he then told Yehuda that he hadn’t had a single cup of coffee in five years.
As they returned to the apartment, Yehuda and Meir could not leave the man alone in such a state. The pair of EMTs geared up in their PPE suits and proceeded to clean the man’s apartment from top to bottom.
They opened all of the windows, and using bleach and other heavy-duty cleaning materials, scrubbed the floors, bathroom, and kitchen. After half an hour of cleaning, Yehuda and Meir had managed to clean the worst of the mess and made the apartment livable once again. They also made significant headway in bringing the apartment back to being livable once again. Lastly, the pair bought the man some groceries so that he would have what to eat for the next little while.
Yehuda added: “It was so hard to leave the apartment. After close to 40 minutes of cleaning, it was barely enough, compared to the mess that we had found when we arrived. The reason we stayed is that we believe that senior citizens should never have to live in such a state. We were told that the man had an illustrious past and he deserves more, all people do. Meir and I figured that since no one was assertive enough to give the man the help he needs, that we would seize the opportunity to do so and hopefully help give him at least something to eat and a clean place to live. We also made sure that social services are aware and we hope that they will continue our efforts so that this man can live like he truly should.”
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