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

Thursday, Apr 13 2017

Mom Follows in Son’s Footsteps
as Kidney Donor

Meir Holtz donated his kidney to a stranger, not knowing that two months later his mom would follow in his footsteps.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Mar 31 2017

Aly’s Blog, Chapter Three: Pondering the Past Year and Hadassah’s Patient-Centered Approach

Hadassah is a little like the old fashioned telephone boxes, with the biggest challenge being to see how many people you could fit in! Hadassah--both staff and buildings--will fit you in, no matter what!

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Top-Tier Turkish Journalists Receive Inside View of Hadassah Hospital

A delegation of top-tier Turkish journalists, accompanied by representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this month, marking the first time a high-level Turkish delegation has come to Israel since the new reconciliation agreement was signed between Israel and Turkey.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Cypriot Health Minister Helps Save Israeli Patient

Whether it was a newborn baby with a severe heart defect or a pregnant woman with an unusual ectopic pregnancy, the Hadassah Medical Organization has been known to save the lives of Cypriot patients by helicoptering them to its hospital for complex emergency treatments. Recently, however, it was the Cypriot Health Minister who helped save the life of an Israeli patient.

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