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“Medical emergency on board”

“Medical emergency on board”

The Jewish Week caught up with Sharon two months into her aliyah journey. To read about her adventures from the beginning, click here.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have a medical emergency on board. If there’s anyone with any medical experience, please notify us.”

This was certainly not the highlight of my weekend in New Jersey for Michelle’s wedding, but it was certainly surprising. But the Continental PA system blasted that announcement as we veered over Iceland on the way back to Tel Aviv, and I wished that one of my parents was on board to assist the passenger. At least there were two nurses sitting by that I know of, one next to me.

About 15 minutes after the announcement, the nurse next to me came back to her seat and said that the passenger was an elderly woman, quite pale and nauseous with an oxygen mask strapped around her face. She was probably in her late 70s or early 80s, my seat partner estimated, adding that the men around her had lain her down across a row of seats. She hadn’t been feeling well all morning.

A retired doctor was on the scene, apparently, but a flight attendant continued to call out for a doctor’s assistance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we need our aisles cleared. If you’re not a doctor, please take yoru seat.”

People scrambled about, expressing concern to each other and to the flight attendants, who were clearly overwhelmed but seemed to have the situation mostly under control.

“We have quite a few medical personnel – thank you very much.”

After about 40 minutes we were able to find out through a flight attendant that the woman was doing much “better.” Hopefully she is still doing okay now, as the paramedics took her off the flight as soon as we landed in Israel.

These types of complications make me a bit hesitant to keep urging my own grandparents to come visit me in Israel – though at the same time, there’s nothing more that I’d like than for all three of them to come to see both me and Israel.

My maternal grandmother, after all, has never been out of the US– aside from Bermuda – let alone Israel. Her husband, my grandfather, has visited here, but not for about 40 years, and my paternal grandmother was able to get here also about 40 years ago and again a couple years ago with her synagogue’s social club.

I wonder if a visit from them will be a viable possibility – or, perhaps I should just be satisfied to just see them in New York, whenever I come home for a visit that’s longer than three days.

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This entry is cross-posted on Sharon’s original "Sacred and Insane" blog. You can reach Sharon at, or follow her on Twitter.

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