(as was mentioned last week, but would like to note that the person that sent in these details is the person referred to in the story as the “community member” and he is too humble to write what he and his family actually did for this boy and I am not about to do it here either but would like all to know that whenever you read what the community member did you must multiply it many many times. The chesed our friends witnessed first hand can not be described, they took the bull by the horns as they say, they could have easily just picked up the boy and helped find him a place to stay and then bring the case to Rabbi Ozeris lap and leave it at that and feel very happy with that great chesed, but they did not. This family single handedly revived this boy SPITIRUALLY and PHYSICALLY,He had zechut to be around this wonderful family and became “part of” the family bonding with the children and parents as well (they even took him on their family vacation!)-Mi kiamcha Yisrael! Hazak Ubaruch-Hashem should bless this entire family with everything wonderful and what you did for this boy is nothing less than spectacular!)
Modern Day Yetziat Mitzrayim
A young Israeli boy of 12 yrs old, the youngest of 7 kids, had difficulty breathing from birth. Doctors said it was Asthma. 6 months before his Bar Mitzva, his Father, at age 53 went to sleep and never woke up. As an orphan, this boy becomes a Bar Mitzva while still having a hard time breathing. At age 14, his windpipe totally closes and he can not breathe. Rushed to and from several hospital emergency rooms, each one injecting him with steroids to open his windpipe and getting very temporary results, the boy ends up on a respirator and unconscious for a week. Finally the doctors realize that his windpipe has closed and is given an emergency tracheotomy. At age 14 he had to breathe from a Trache pipe in his neck. He dropped out of Yeshiva as he was too embarrassed to continue. He stayed home for over a year in a major depression. At age 15 thru 18 he tried several surgeries on his windpipe to restore normal breathing, but the surgeries made things worse.
For a year and a half he lost his ability to speak. The boy was living a wild and dangerous lifestyle, primarily because he did not care if he died. At age 19 one of his sisters found the name of a surgeon in Boston that was world renown for trachea surgery.
Her and her brother set out to visit with this Dr in Boston for a consultation. The Dr said that he can do a reconstructive trachea transplant to restore his breathing but it would cost about $50,000. They went back home to Israel not knowing how they would manage to raise the funds. His sister wrote up a letter explaining the situation and mailed it out to Jewish philanthropists in the USA.
An anonymous recipient from Chicago agreed to sponsor the surgery in Boston and the boy with his sister were on their way to Boston. “Ashreichem Yisrael”- look and see how great Am Yisrael is, who take care of each other in a time of need. The boy himself became a great believer in Hashem and a Baal Bitachon. He built up a relationship with Hashem and cried out to Him constantly to save him from this nightmare and his personal bondage. The transplant and surgery seemed to go well at first and a stent was placed in the new windpipe to keep it open, but just like the Jews in Mitzrayim when Moshe first came to be their savior were excited and full of hope only to see the hardships become more intense, so too this boy was about to experience an even worse situation. His body began to reject the transplant and every 4-6 weeks the windpipe area would grow tissue and skin and close up the windpipe to the point where he could no longer speak or breathe normally until a surgery was done to reopen the windpipe.
For about a year, the boy lived in a basement in Crown Heights with a Trache tube and a humidifying tube machine that he needed to attach to his neck in order to sleep at night. He was all alone in a foreign country and travelled by bus every 4-6 weeks to Boston for a surgery to reopen his windpipe. He became so depressed that he contemplated suicide. The Kli Yakar at the end of Shemot points out that the darkest part of the night is right before dawn.
At this point, the boy was 21 years old and losing faith. His sister in Israel got a meeting with Rabbi Ades in Bnei Brak and when he heard that the boy was living alone without money, he called upon an acquaintance he knew in the Syrian community and asked him to take the boy to Rabbi Ozeri and try to find a temporary home for him. The sister flew in from Israel and both she and the boy stayed in the home of a community family. Rabbi Ozeri got involved and provided new clothing for the boy, and the boy began to feel wanted and comfortable with his new “family”.
His Bitachon was once again strengthened and his will to continue his fight for survival was restored. After a week or so, his windpipe once again closed up and he could not speak, he was only able to breathe thru his Trache tube in his neck. The father of the family and the new caregiver of this boy, drove him up to Boston for his appointment and was introduced to the Jewish surgeon that was trying to help this boy become a normal breather. The surgeon walked in and took a look at the Community Man and said that in his entire career he never gave up on a patient, but he was prepared to give up on this boy! if not for the fact that the boy is now under the care of this man and his family!. It seems that for the many months that the boy was on his own, he did not have the discipline or the support of anyone to help him through this difficult journey of medicines and surgeries. The Doctor was fighting a losing battle and was not even getting a penny for all of these operations. Now that the situation changed, he was ready to continue the fight. He told the man that he needed 3 things for this to work. Discipline regarding taking his medicines, more frequent appointments in Boston and lots of Money.
This community man was now involved in a situation much more difficult than he ever imagined but if not for this “match” set up by Hashem thru Rabbi Ades, the boys life at best would have remained a nightmare. That night, the man and the boy strengthened themselves in Bitachon, understanding that Hashem can do anything believed that this will all work out. The next day the surgery was done once again to reopen the windpipe except this time Hashem put in the mind of the surgeon to remove the stent from the windpipe in hopes that this will prevent the body from closing the windpipe again. The doctor was not very confident but he gave it a try. 3 weeks later they were back in Boston and without knowing if the windpipe was closing or not, the boy stood on the very busy city street outside the tall office building of the doctor and just like Am Yisrael screamed out to Hashem from their bondage, the boy looked up to the sky and with tears streaming down his cheeks began to scream and beg Hashem to save his life and perform a miracle for him. Upstairs he went and the doctor did a scope into his throat to see how the windpipe reacted to the surgery of 3 weeks ago. Sure enough, the doctor was amazed. No more rejection!. The windpipe was healing and stayed open. The doctor took the man to the side and said that he was a Jew and not really observant but now he KNOWS that there is a G-d in the world and He is looking after this boy. The doctor realized that a miracle indeed took place. The doctor still wanted to see the boy every 3 weeks to be sure that he was okay. They visited the doctor again and again and each time the scope showed that the windpipe was healing and remaining open. The Trache tube was no longer needed and the machine at night was no longer needed. The boy was on his way to a new life of normal breathing. He recognized the Chesed of Hashem and was constantly thanking Hashem for saving him. This passed week the doctor said it was safe for him to travel back to his family in Israel after being away from home for a year and a half. He is returning to Eretz Yisrael 3 days before Pesach to experience his own Modern Day Yetziat Mitzrayim.
Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov, Ki LeOlam Chasdo.