When Miriam N. got the news from her physician that she needed surgery, she wasn't that surprised. Her medical condition was such that she and Dr. Bitton had already become good friends. Miriam was often at the Jerusalem hospital near her home and spent a lot of her "free" time running from appointment to appointment, getting blood-work done and making sure she had the proper, endless medical documents, referrals and results ready to hand over to waiting receptionists.
Surgery was scheduled. Miriam, her family and Dr. Bitton ("Naama"-by now they were on a first name basis) were all optimistic that it would be successful and that everything would turn out ok.But soon after the operation was completed, they learned that things were not quite as rosy as they had expected. Test results were surprisingly poor. Complications developed. Miriam's family, instead of planning when to take her home, was told to plan for the worst.
It was such a shock-unbelievable.
They were devastated.
Even so, they tried to be optimistic, knowing that certain things were simply not in their hands. They needed to hope for the best-it was all they could do.
So they hoped.
And sat bedside vigils.
And slowly, as the days turned into weeks, Miriam's condition....began to improve.
Her family was stunned-it was unbelievable.
The weeks then turned into months and somehow, it was a year later. Miriam was out of the hospital. Back home with her family. Living her life.
Nobody could quite explain the how..or the what...or the why, but here she was.
Miriam realized that what she experienced was pretty much a miracle and wanted to do something special to acknowledge it-to thank G-d for helping her make it through. Her husband and children suggested making a seudat hodaya as people in their community had done before them. The idea didn't exactly sit right with Miriam, though. It was a nice idea, one she was well familiar with, but "what do I need another piece of chicken for?" she thought. "My life was given back to me-this has changed me forever. I want to do something that will change someone else's life."
Lag B'Omer was right around the corner, and wedding invitations were arriving for Miriam and her husband every few days. Friends were overjoyed that she was healthy and they could celebrate their simchas together.
An idea began to form in Miriam's mind. "I started thinking about weddings, how they are such a special milestone in people's lives, but also about how expensive they can get. What did people do if they couldn't afford one? How did parents who were struggling, pay for weddings for their children?"
"It was like a light bulb then suddenly switched on in my head. That was what I wanted to do-help make a wedding for a family who couldn't afford one. I could bring a young couple so much happiness, so much relief-I could change their lives just as they're starting their new lives."
Miriam called Yad Eliezer. She chose the date and sponsored a wedding for a needy couple she had never met, in thanks for the incredible chesed that was done for her.
How did it make her feel? "Unbelievable!"