Hadassah

330,000 Mazal Tovs

Friday, Mar 7 2014

The loudspeaker announced the arrival of the bride. Guests rushed outside to the chuppah (wedding canopy) under the clear night sky in the Judean Hills at the Neve Ilan wedding venue. Every wedding is exciting, but tonight's is thrilling because 13 years ago, the young woman being married-- Adi Hudja--was on the verge of death in the trauma center at Hadassah University Hospital.

Thirteen years ago, Adi was scheduled to have her leg amputated. Now, she is walking easily down the aisle. Guests are applauding.

“Did you ever think you’d see her walking like this down the aisle?” whispers Barbara Sofer, Hadassah’s Israel Director of Public Relations, to the man standing to her left.

He can’t speak; he shakes his head “no.” This is Prof. Iri Liebergall, the head of Orthopedics at Hadassah, who saved her leg.

Standing closer to the chuppah is Prof. Avi Rivkind, head of the Trauma Unit. “Her cousin said I promised I’d dance with Adi at her wedding,” he says with wonder. Prof. Rivkind saved her life.

December 1, 2001 was a cold, clear winter night in Jerusalem. After Shabbat, Adi, then 13, and two cousins went downtown to Ben Yehudah Street for some fun. Just as they were about to return home, one of the cousins decided to get ice cream. Adi and cousin Racheli were waiting for her to return when a suicide bomber exploded next to Adi. That night, two terrorists and a car bomb exploded downtown killing 13 people, wounding hundreds.

Racheli was lightly injured. Adi had devastating injuries--shrapnel throughout her body, but mostly in her legs. She was rushed to Hadassah. The bleeding was so profuse that no matter how much blood she was given, she seemed to be bleeding to death. Doctors speculated that the nuts and bolts that had penetrated her skinny body had been soaked in rat poison or a similar substance to increase the amount of bleeding.

Her body temperature was dropping. That’s when Trauma Surgeon Prof. Rivkind decided to try the very expensive experimental drug, Nova 7. It had been developed for hemophiliacs, and it wasn’t supposed to be used for trauma victims.

But thanks to the Nova 7, the bleeding slowed. He gave her another dose.

The bleeding stopped.

Prof. Liebergall had been in Europe at a conference when he heard about the blast in Jerusalem. He headed for the airport to come home. When he landed early Sunday morning, he went straight to the hospital. He examined Adi. His staff thought she needed to have a leg amputated in order to save her life. Her mother had given her consent with a heavy heart. ”Anything to save my daughter,” she said.

“This was a dilemma for me,” said Prof Liebergall. “A dilemma means that you don’t know if you have the correct answer, but I felt we could save the limb and her life.”

And so, Adi began a long series of operations. The last was only a few months ago.

Articles in medical journals and text books tell the story of her miraculous recovery. But everyone knows that miracles do not happen in a vacuum. It takes a special team and a special hospital.

It took Adi a while to get her life organized after so much surgery, but she is now a university student, majoring in communications.

The night of her wedding, however, she is pure bride, as her dark hair frames her delicate features above the white dress. Her tall, handsome groom, Eliran Peretz, is waiting to put a ring on her finger.

A venerable Sephardic Rabbi pronounces the blessings. Her mother, Mali Houdja, is wiping her eyes.

The groom breaks the glass and recites: “If I forget thee Jerusalem….”

Tonight, Jerusalem is in no danger of being forgotten.

Cheers and laugher prevail. In the line-up to hug the bride, Adi’s cousins begin to shout: “Adi! Here’s Prof. Rivkind. Here’s Prof. Liebergall.”

The crowd parts for these precious hugs.

“And I hug Adi, too,” relates Mrs. Sofer. And I say,”This is the hug from 330,000 women and men of Hadassah. We’re all here with you tonight.”

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Friday, Jun 22 2018

To Save Their Children - The Mothers Came Secretly From Syria to Hadassah

Repairing the Hearts of Syrian Children at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Jun 21 2018

Traveling with Ruth

Ruth Radiano, Head Nurse at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, is an extraordinary woman, whose resume reads like a novel. I recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting her and hearing her speak, and in just five minutes with her, I felt as though I was with a Hadassah sister.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Jun 20 2018

First in Israel: Hadassah Uses Innovative Technology to Treat Cancer in Spine

A multidisciplinary team at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem recently employed an innovative technology to treat cancer metastases near the spinal cord--a first for Israel.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Jun 19 2018

American Journal of Ophthalmology Article Celebrates the Centennial of Hadassah Ophthalmology

The centennial anniversary of the Hadassah Medical Organization's Department of Ophthalmology is celebrated in the May issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, with an article by the immediate past director, Prof. Jacob Pe'er, and the current director, Prof. Itay Chowers.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More