Personal Stories

I Went Off the Cliff in My Van

Seven and a half years ago before Rosh Hashanah it happened. I was in my nine seat van in my town not far from my home. At the fork instead of going straight I made a sharp right turn. Both were good ways to get home. The problem was that after my turn I saw the road was in the midst of being repaired and there was water pouring down the road. This water was full of oil that washed off the road that made it dangerously slippery. I tried avoiding the water but G-d willed it that my right tire enter the water.

I lost control of the van, it spun around and instead of following the road it hit an iron barrier rail and sent it flying like a bamboo stick. The van flew over a vertical wall across a security road and over the cliff into the valley 150 meters below.

I flew down the cliff understanding where I’m going but not feeling anything with the exception of seeing a yellow background and a large boulder and hearing metal scraping. The next thing I knew I was sitting outside the upturned van in the valley with one tire of the van pinning down my leg. I was in deep pain, my leg felt like it was exploding.

Later I found out my airbags worked and my seat belts were still closed so finding myself out of the van was totally baffling with no logical explanation. I saw fuel spilling out and feared the van could explode with me pinned down and unable to move.

But G-d was watching over me and within a few moments people came down the steep valley to help me. They saw me going over the cliff and immediately sprang to action, disregarding the steepness of the valley. They asked me if there were others in the van. I said no so they immediately pushed the van off my foot to free me. Emergency responders came right away.  After brief deliberation on taking me by helicopter they decided instead to carry me down the rest of the cliff by stretcher to the security road. I was lifted into an ambulance and whisked away to the hospital.  

I was lucid enough to answer all of the pertinent questions the main one being that besides me no one was in the car. But I also felt the full brunt of the pain. Only then could they administer pain killers.

Anyone who saw the scene of the crash and the path I took down from the cliff doesn’t understand how I survived. My neighbors were getting ready to tell my children that the worst had happened. I was taken to Hadassah in Ein Karem and my CT scan showed my only injury was a broken thigh bone. No spinal injuries G-d forbid, or any other injury for that matter! I was operated on the same day and my bone healed properly.

An angel in human form, Dr. Amos Faizer walked me through the whole process with sensitivity and great humility. Most of my recovery was thanks to him. I was hospitalized for 6 weeks discharged for a week returning to Hadassah Mt. Scopus for 3 weeks of rehab. The most painful part at the time was getting a skin graft operation. The wound hadn’t healed properly and they needed to take skin from my healthy leg to graft over the wound. My recovery from that was difficult and painful.

The crash was before Rosh Hashanah; my hospitalization was during the Days of Awe and Sukkot. I felt cleansed and atoned. My husband manned the fort at home with our 8 children and things ran unnaturally smooth considering the situation. My family wrapped me in healing, warmth and love. My neighbors also helped out with the family at home taking care of meals, laundry and the many things a family of 8 plus my husband could need. The Jewish nation in its glory!

After several months of recovering and rehab I started to venture out into the neighborhood. People who saw me said ‘Blessed is He that revives the dead’ or they said ‘here comes the walking miracle’. Since I literally felt G-d’s protective embrace from the crash to the evacuation, operation, recovery and rehab, I feel obliged to tell the world at every opportunity: “G-d is always with us, watches over us everywhere and protects us even in situations where a person shouldn’t logically survive!”

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