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December 01, 1989 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

MITZVAH PEOPLE

Studio In Harvard Row Mall

The

How You Can Save
A Baby's Life

B
SP

DANNY SIEGEL

Special to The Jewish News

C

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• Vertical Blinds
• Levolor Blinds
• Pleated Shades
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I\ FUR AND
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When it comes to
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and personal attention,
Bruce Weiss
runs rings around
the competition.

And,
when it comes to price
there is no competition.

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34

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1989

LAKESIDE MALL
STERLING HEIGHTS

271 W. MAPLE
BIRMINGHAM

TWELVE OAKS MALL
NOVI

CROSSWINDS MALL
WEST BLOOMFIELD

FAIRLANE TOWN CENTER
DEARBORN

rib death is a hor-
ror. A baby stops
breathing in its crib
. . . why, exactly, nobody
knows for certain. The
parents discover the baby's
lifeless body too late. Tragedy
so enormous, we cannot find
words to comfort the parents.
The medical profession calls
this phenomenon "apnea,"
which means "no breath."
Now there are monitors,
apnea monitors, which let go
wildly with alarms and lights
when the infant stops
breathing. The monitor
wakes the parents, and the
baby. And there are more sen-
sitive, sophisticated monitors
called "cardiac apnea
monitors" which pick up on
more delicate situations. In
either case, the family uses
them until the baby is old
enough to be judged out of
danger.
To be honest, there is some
controversy in the medical
profession: some swear by
these monitors, and others
aren't so sure they are effec-
tive. There is no unanimity of
opinion. My unmedical opin-
ion, after a few years of ex-
perience with members of
Israel's medical teams, is that
— in a life-and-death situa-
tion — the Maybe should be
given the benefit of the doubt:
monitors should be provided
on the decent chance that
they will save lives.
In Israel there is this
organization called Yad
Sarah. They lend medical
supplies for free to people who
need them. Yad Sarah has
won all the mitzvah awards
you can get, plus awards for
Unifying Jewish People and
for efficient business opera-
tions. They have the highest
reputation, and they save
lives every day, . .addition to
"lesser" (if you can use such
a term) mitzvahs of bringing
relief from pain for all those
people who borrow wheel-
chairs, oxygen machines,
crutches and walkers,
vaporizers, whatever — all for
free.
Yad Sarah is scattered
throughout the country, more
than 3,000 volunteers at 60
lending stations, and only a
minimal, paid staff. Everyone
in Israel knows Yad Sarah.
Almost everyone has a Yad

Danny Siegel, writer, lecturer
and Mitzvah Man, writes
regularly for us on practical
ways to do tzedakah work.

Sarah story to tell about
themslves using the equip-
ment or their uncle or their
son or some friend.
Yad Sarah needs monitors.
Over a two year period, my
small tzedakah fund puchas-
ed 120 apnea monitors. We'd
send over about $550. Yad
Sarah would put in some of
their own, and they built up
a (not sufficient) supply. Then
they felt that the cardiac
apnea monitors were needed.
My friends kept sending
money (these were $2,700
apiece), and the Fund bought
14 last year, and eight thus
far this year. We want to buy
15 of them.
So here's the proposal: do it
yourself or get a group of
friends together. Get $2,700
and send it to Mr. Charles
Bendheim at American
Friends of Yad Sarah, One
Parker Plaza, Ft. Lee, NJ
07024, 201-944-6020. Maybe
it will save a baby's life, some
person you'll never meet, who

Here is an
opportunity for
anyone to step out
of The World of
The Diddly.

will have a long, healthy life
because someone or some
group from far away decided
to be mitzvah-power-hungry.
Actually, it's more than one
life. When the baby that uses
the monitor is out of danger,
the family brings the monitor
back, and it is lent to another
family. And the cycle
continues.
It's a cheap price for a life.
Kidney transplants, heart
transplants, brain tumor
surgery are all way up there
in the $75,000-$150,000
range. This is a bargain, a
small investment with
unmeasurable returns.
Is there a need for more
monitors in Israel? Yes, for
sure. In fact, not until this
summer did I actually see one
of the cardiac apnea monitors.
Just by chance I was at Yad
Sarah one day when one had
been returned, and was due to
be lent out later in the day. As
soon as monitors come in,
people on the waiting list are
there to get one for their own
baby. It is a wondrous little
machine, maybe two feet by
fifteen inches by eight inches,
and with a powerful alarm. It
is truly a miracle of modern
medical technology.
I'm not bragging about the
part I've played in the pur-

-10

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