If anybody wants proof that God is still in the miracle business they should read this story about my weekend. My daughter was in a car crash on Friday that by all logic she shouldn’t have survived.
At about 5:45pm I was packing up my computer for the night and watching one of my guilty pleasures (TMZ). The phone rang and the stranger on the other end gave me what seemed to be a paradox, your daughter drove into a tree, but is OK. She asked me to call you. It was hard for me to imagine a situation where someone drives into a tree but is basically uninjured. I shouted out to my wife and she joined me in the car as we sped to the accident site a half of a mile from home.
As we approached we saw two Suffolk County police cars, a fire truck and an EMT ambulance. Having to park a half block away (on the wrong side of the street) my wife ran out of the car to her child crying, I followed. The firemen were shouting to us “don’t worry she is OK.”
The first thing I noticed as I approached my daughter is the blood that seemed to be everywhere. The top of her head was wrapped as was her neck. The neck wrapping had already turned red from her blood, but they had quickly covered it up with a heavy duty neck brace. She was surround by EMT workers who were removing a cardiogram and were putting her on one of those hard plastic yellow boards they use when there is fear of a head or neck injury.
My crying wife joined my daughter in the ambulance, while I tried to get her valuables out of the car. Approaching the car, I surveyed the scene. It gave me shivers. My little girl had been very lucky.
Apparently my daughter swerved to the right hit the tree, then pivoted around and the back of her car hit one of those giant 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide, electrical boxes that LIPA puts on every other front lawn. After she hit the electrical box the tree she originally hit smashed down on the driver’s side of the car.
As I approached the car the windshield was shattered as was the driver’s side window, both airbags deployed, and it was obvious that the worst damage was on the driver’s side of the car. Most scary was the roof over her head was flattened from the fall of the tree. All I could think of is how lucky she was.
Driving to the emergency room, I called every observant Jew whose number I remembered. As it was approaching the Sabbath, it would soon be too late to call them and I had a special request for them all. It is a tradition that every time you take out the Torah there is an opportunity to make special prayers of refuah shleimah (healing)for the ill. Even on the Sabbath when the prayers are mostly prayers of thanks (as opposed to Dear God, I want, I need…) we make prayers asking God to help heal the ill and to grant strength to the doctors who are treating our loved ones.
Mi-sheberakh avoteinu v’imoteinu, Avraham v’Sarah, Yitzhak v’Rivkah, Ya’akov, Rachel v’Leah hu y’varekh et (Hebrew name-Son/Daughter of Mother’s Hebrew name) v’yavi aleihem refuat hanefesh u’refuat haguf yachad im kol cholei amo Yisrael. Barukh atah Adonai, rofeh ha’cholim.
May the One who was a source of blessing for our ancestors, bring blessings of healing upon (Hebrew name-Son/Daughter of Mother’s Hebrew name), a healing of body and a healing of spirit. May those in whose care they are entrusted, be gifted with wisdom and skill, and those who surround them, be gifted with love and trust, openness and support in their care. And may they be healed along with all those who are in need. Blessed are You, Source of healing. Amen.
Knowing my friends I guarantee you that God heard much about Hinda bat Leah this weekend. From my friends as well as my wife and me.
A short time later, I joined my wife in the emergency room. It was the first time I was able to see her close up. My little girl (she is 21 but will always be my little girl) looked like something out of a horror movie.
There was a large cut over her left eye, the white of her skull was visible at the bottom of the of that injury. The entire left side of her face was a lacerated bloody mess which we had to keep dabbing to keep the blood from seeping into her eye. She had an extremely deep gash on the left side of her neck which, if it was a bid deeper would have severed her jugular. In short my daughter was a very lucky girl.
About 10 o’ clock that evening the plastic surgeon came in to start his work, telling us that he hadn’t seen a face that needed that much work in years. He worked for 3 and a half hours wearing glasses that seemed to have mini microscope lenses coming off the front. The plastic surgeon delicately stitched together each cut and repaired each laceration.
At about 2 AM we were told that as soon as my daughter could hold down liquids she could go home. But Saturday morning nothing was too be that easy, after drinking some apple juice, she began to “bring it up again.” I am not talking a little throwing up but the projectile stuff only seen in the movie the exorcist.
Finally eight hours later, we were allowed to bring my daughter where she belonged–home. She was battered, tired, in terrible pain, but alive with a good prognosis for the future. She will require some more plastic surgeries and maybe even a skin graft, but the result was much better than it could have been. In the middle of the night, the EMTs had brought a man into the hospital who had a similar accident to my daughter.Unfortunately he didn’t make it.
All I could think of is all the help she received, the EMTs, police officers and firemen who rushed to the scene and the doctors, radiologists and nurses who treated her at the hospital. But just as valuable were the people I called who used their Shabbos rest to pray to God that my little girl survive and have a strong recovery.
A little more than 21 years ago my daughter was born. I remember when the nurses first placed this screaming little baby into my arms, I marveled at the miracle of the entire process, how God was able to take a piece of me and a piece of my wife and create this little human being that came out of my wife and into our lives.
As I drive my daughter and wife home from the hospital on Saturday I thought back to that time and the injuries she received a little less than 17 hours before. Just as her birth was a miracle and a gift from God, the fact that she was still alive and coming home was a miracle and gift from our maker.
Her injuries were severe but treatable, but if for example, her neck injury was slightly deeper she might have severed her jugular, bleeding out even before the EMT workers came.
Some might say that the fact my daughter is alive today is the medical and emergency personnel knew what to do and they are 100% correct. But to think they didn’t have some help from above defies all reality. The miraculous gift God gave my wife and me 21 years ago, was re-gifted to us this past Shabbos.
For those who believe God hasn’t performed any miracles in two thousand years (with the possible exception of the 1969 Mets), the fact that my little girl is alive and (God willing) healing, is proof that you are wrong.
As the Jewish Prayer Birkhat Ha‑Gomel says
“Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who bestows good things on the unworthy, and has bestowed on me every goodness.”
Thank you God, for answering our prayers with a resounding yes.
If anyone wants add their prayers to the ones already praying for my daughter’s speedy recovery her name is Hinda bat Leah.