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It began with a phone call and ended with a critical patient being flown across the country.

On Friday afternoon, the Hatzulas Nafashos hotline rang. On the other end was a mother of 4 children begging for help. The mother had taken her chronically sick child for medical testing to Houston, and she has been unable to return home to Lakewood. After sitting almost two weeks in the emergency room, the child has now contracted an infection and must return to Children's Hospital where the doctors were familiar with her unique condition and only they were able to treat her. The mother says that due to a lack of funds, she was already turned down by every organization that usually handles such situations. Out of desperation and not really expecting a positive answer, someone suggested she reach out to Hatzulas Nefashos.

The call was transferred to the founder, Mr. Issac Birnhak, and after hearing the mother's plea, he promised to see what he can do.

Mr. Birnhak Immediately began working the phones. Being erev shabbos there was additional sense of urgency. Calls were made to the family's Rav, Doctors, and patient advocates. It was clear that this was a true pikuach nefesh situation, and the Rabbanim, after discussion with the Doctors, ruled that they may even travel on shabbos.  

Not willing to say no, Hatzulas Nafashos agreed to Arrange a plane to bring the child home. A team of specialized Doctors, Paramedics, and support personnel were assembled. Specialized medication and equipment was located, and a team was running around assembling everything needed. A frum pilot was contacted but was uncomfortable flying on shabbos. Shabbos had already begun and the team with the assistance of non-jews and in direct involvement of the Rav, the preparations continued. Even though shabbos had already begun, the Rav personally got on the phone and told the pilot he needs to go, even though it's shabbos.

Finally the team and the equipment all made it to the airport and headed to Houston to pick up the child. The team was picked up by Houston hatzala and taken to the hospital, where together with the hospital's specialty team the child was prepared for transport. After extensive preparations the Houston Hatzala members were able to delicately transfer the patient and team. 

Upon arrival in New Jersey the airplane was greeted by another specialized team ready to take over and transfer the patient to the hospital. Boruch hashem the child was successfully transferred. 

While klal yisroel was in shul, having a seuda, or sleeping comfortably, a dedicated team of Hatzulas Nefashos members were in the air or on the ground helping another yiddeshe choleh begging for help.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to help Hatzulas Nafashos expand its service and to procure the specialized equipment needed.

Click here to help this campaign.

Read more about Hatzulas Nafashos - Jackson Jewish Volunteer Ambulance here on FAA News.

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