Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi was medivacuated from Hartford’s St. Francis Hospital to Boulder Community Hospital on Thursday where he continues his recovery from severe pneumonia and other complications. According to Reb Zalman’s wife Eve Ilsen, posting on his Caring Bridge site:
We began this trip as a visit for Reb Zalman to receive an honorary doctorate from Hebrew College in Boston, followed by the Shavuot retreat at Isabella Freedman. He experienced a health crisis while at Elat Chayyim. Briefly, here is what happened:
Contrary to rumor, there was no fall
Reb Zalman was visibly increasingly ill, following the Shavuot retreat, until we made the judgment call to get an ambulance and take him to the Emergency Room at the nearby Sharon Hospital
after stabilizing him, the ER physician got the ambulance to bring him to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut
where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit on Monday, June 9th and remained until Friday, June 13th.
in the ICU, he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and other complications
he received some serious treatment, and, thank G-d, was transferred out of ICU to their Cardiovascular unit.”
On Wednesday, June 18, Eve posted the following from Reb Zalman:
The impact of your prayers is palpable. When a relationship gets stale and cynical, it becomes a burden. When it is aroused to the level of heart, it gives the one who prays and the one they pray for a lift. I rejoice in the “light”ness of your prayers and return my appreciation and blessings and love.”
On Thursday, Eve described the trip from St. Francis to Boulder Community Hospital this way:
It’s almost midnight here in Boulder.
I had very little sleep this past day and night, so bear with me if I’m a litle less than coherent.
Briefly: the crew arrived at the hospital at 9 a.m., and strapped R’ Zalman to a narrow gurney—his perch for the next eight hours. The ambulance took us to the part of the Hartford, CT airport that serves private planes, to a very small, very sleek Lear jet. Miraculously, all the crew’s stuff, our stuff, the crew and we ourselves fit into this elegant hospital-room-in-the-air.
It took us all day, door to door; that is: from St. Francis Hospital to Boulder Community Hospital. Mary and Noah met us and relieved us of luggage.
Many of the hospital staff know Z from prior visits, and really worked to make him comfortable. Our dear friend the acupuncturist quietly visited with his needles.
After Z was well-settled in, our friend Norma picked me up, looped by Whole Foods for dinner supplies, and brought me home. I began my first adventure in cooking for Zalman with no salt, then brought it to the hospital.
Shortly after we had eaten, another friend, who works with hands-on healing, dropped by. (How did he know we’d arrived?)
Saga to be continued tomorrow.
Many thanks for all your prayers, your entries in the Guestbook, your blessings and encouragement—
We continue to offer prayers for a refuah shlemah, a full recovery.