July 21, 2024
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July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We continue to spend our days at Naama’s bedside and are gratified by the many wonderful things that we have seen here at the Jewish General Hospital. Yes, it is possible to notice and be grateful for things.

First, I want to mention the uniqueness of this hospital. It is now in the throes of a major building project. Naama has been in the new building with a state-of-the-art, beautiful (if it can be so) ICU and her current room, which is a step down unit from the ICU, is spacious, bright and beautiful. Every electric door in the hospital is left open on Shabbos in order to make sure that no one has to be mechalel Shabbos. Even the orderlies commented to me how unusual this is. Every restaurant in the hospital is strictly kosher under the supervision of the MK (Montreal Kosher) and every coffee shop in the hospital is closed for the entire Shabbos (there are at least four eating facilities that are closed). After havdalah, the main Second Cup (Montreal equivalent of Starbucks) becomes a beehive of activity. The only food facility that remains open is the main cafeteria where one is able to prepay meals prior to Shabbos.

The amount of chesed that we have been shown is overwhelming. We are receiving meals twice a day directly to Naama’s room, which are delivered by the Bikur Cholim. It is not just the food—it is the packaging as well. As our son Akiva said, it looks like a gift bag for a wedding. Every day, the delivery person, men, women and young girls stop by to ask how we are and how Naama is doing. Total chesed.

For Shabbos, we stay at an apartment directly across the street from the hospital which is run by another organization, Ezras Cholim. There are two bedrooms, a living room, magazines, a kitchen area with a blech and an urn, all for our personal use. Twice, a band of young Chassidish men (Montreal has the largest population of Chassidim in North America next to New York City) came to entertain with keyboard, violin, other instruments and special regalia (purple and white straw hats). When I explained to them that in the room two doors away from Naama there was a man whose family had been told that he only had several hours to live, they immediately left their instruments, took off their hats and quietly entered his room and sang Ani Maamin. The family was visibly moved, as were all standing nearby.

The more time that we spend in the hospital the more we become familiar with some of the families who are also “camping out” with their loved ones who are patients on the floor. Mordechai made Kiddush last Friday night for an elderly infirm man who passed away the next morning. He also said tehillim and the shema at the request of another family who waited with their father for his last few hours of life.

We realize as well the importance of clear communication among family members as to what the wishes are of elderly parents and relatives when they are faced with life-challenging decisions. Do all measures really enhance life, or just prolong a life which is in a vegetative state? We tend to not talk about these things, assuming that everything will happen naturally, and those close to us who need to decide such things, will do so. We are observing how these thoughts can wreak havoc on a family. It is necessary for everyone to have a written declaration of what their wishes are. It is unfair for family members to have to grapple with these issues. By talking about a situation it does not mean that it will happen more quickly, and that type of superstitious attitude is from the ages of our great-grandparents. We urge everyone to make their wishes known in a legal document.

As I am writing this, I just was called to Naama’s room for them to remove her feeding tube and they have begun to feed her pureed food on the way to restoring her old life. This is indeed a miracle, which we have no doubt has only to do with all of the tefillot that have been said on her behalf. To all of you, we are eternally grateful. We still have a long road ahead of us, but it is definitely, as of today, looking brighter. Much love.

By Nina Glick

Editor’s Note: Nina Glick wrote this article last week. Please tune in next week to learn the details of Naama’s discharge from the hospital, lessons learned,  and to hear the perspective on all the davening that gave chizuk to the Glicks during Naama’s three week stay in the hospital.

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