What's your goal?

צילום: קלר בלמן, אחות טיפול נמרץ
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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

I was privileged to speak at the party celebrating closure of the corona intensive care department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Noa Kantman, a physiotherapist in the department, shared with me the following story:

"During the holidays of Tishrei a woman in very serious condition was hospitalized. She was sedated on a ventilator for about a month, and struggled to improve her condition. One day I said to her: 'Let's make an agreement. You keep fighting and when Purim comes you will bring me mishloach manot (holiday food package).' I must admit that I was shocked for a moment that she agreed on the date since it was so far off. I was not at all sure that she would even recover. Every day, even when she was completely groggy, I reminded her of our agreement and she fought like a warrior. At first, she fought just to breathe, afterwards to sit up, to stand, to walk, and on Purim – she came to me with mishloach manot!

In light of this success, I did an additional 'intervention.' Several months ago, a nice young man was sick with the coronavirus, hospitalized in intensive care, and hooked up to a heart and lung machine. In one of his moments of despair, I entered the room and announced two goals to him and his wife. By Shavuot, he would be eating on his own and by Rosh HaShanah he would stand up and wish me shana tova (a good year). Later, he and his wife brought me a tray as a gift, since he already ate on his own and it was still prior to Shavuot! I think that besides the medical treatment, the fact that there was a clear goal to which to aspire gave them strength. And it seems to me that this is food for thought for all of us."

Shabbat shalom.

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