רחלי
רחלי קופת העיר

It began with an 11-year-old Israeli girl seeing the doctor because of a fever- and shortly afterwards they found themselves in Boston * In about a month, Racheli's big sister is getting married- and her parents are hoping to return in time * At her farewell party, it was very hard for her to leave the siblings who'd come to see her off.

It's an emotional roller-coaster as this hareidi family prepares for the wedding of their seventh daughter while simultaneously struggling with an emergency medical situation which took them by complete surprise.

The parents are hopeful that the urgent situation of their younger daughter, who'll be treated in Boston, will be resolved in time to allow them to attend the wedding of their older daughter in Israel.

"The story began when 11-year-old Racheli felt a bit unwell," relates one of the family members. "She was very weak and she had a fever. Her mother, who has 12 children, was sure that it was the either the flu or Corona and took her to the doctor, who agreed with her assessment. As part of the routine exam, he listened with a stethoscope to her heart and her lungs.

When the doctor heard her heartbeat, he became frightened. It was clear to him that something was definitely not okay, and he sent them to the hospital, where they did advanced imaging tests and discovered a perforation in the main artery, close to the heart. The doctors concluded that the child needed a complex and dangerous operation, and recommended it be performed at a world-famous heart health center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Since Racheli's big sister-the seventh child in the family- is scheduled to get married in about a month's time, the doctors felt the operation could wait for a few weeks, until after the wedding.

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They asked Rav Firer to be the intermediary between themselves and a top doctor in the field in Israel. He checked the girl and declared decisively that he disagreed with the previous doctors: the operation must be performed as soon as possible!

Within a very short time, Racheli and her parents found themselves in Boston, waiting for emergency surgery. The process was complicated, including pre-op testing and preparation, and no one could give them any guarantees that she'd be able to attend her sister's wedding…

In the meantime, back at their home in Israel there's no income…Racheli's mother teaches a private playgroup which is currently being run by a substitute, who of course receives the income in the meantime. The father isn't working either. On the other hand, add the considerable wedding expenses and the daily food and maintenance expenses for a household that size, plus add to that the new expenses of the surgery and the travel…

Just to pay for Racheli's medical insurance even before their flight, they had to provide $30,000! While the cost of the actual operation itself is covered by their healthcare plan, additional medical tests, doctors' visits, days of hospitalization according to need, travel costs, and the emergency flight expenses, plus the visas they needed to have issued urgently-whose costs are significant- and also their accommodations in the U.S. as they wait for the operation- all these amount to an enormous sum which they have no way of paying for themselves.

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