When Rabbi Shalom Shnitzler embarked on his journey to far-away Australia, no one foresaw the tragic end of his mission.
The Ezra LeMarpeh Association, founded by Rabbi A. E. Firer, provides assistance to the sick and needy.
AN AIRLIFT FROM FAR-AWAY AUSTRALIA
A fatal heart attack caused cardiac arrest. The resuscitation efforts managed to restore his heartbeat and his breathing, but his brain was damaged.
Rabbi Firer, chairman of the organization, who was staying in Australia at that time (for the first time in his life!) took charge, and with the assistance of the dedicated benefactor, Rabbi Mordy Benedict, preparations for airlifting Rabbi Shnitzler to Israel began.
Although Ezra Lemarpeh is experienced in the airlifting of patients, this time the operation was complicated and difficult. None of the Australian airlines agreed to undertake such a complicated airlift and after great efforts, the services of Air Ambulance with professional personnel were hired in order to transport the patient to Bangkok. After about twenty hours of flying (including stopovers), the patient was transferred to an El Al plane in the care of the medical personnel recruited by the Luxemburg - Medical Airlifts company.
After a message was received, in the company’s command room, from Shlomo Grossberger, the organization’s ambulance driver and the man in charge of medical airlifts, that the patient was transferred to the emergency ward of the Sha'are Zedek hospital , the organization's activists could breathe a sigh of relief.
Regrettably, a few days after the arrival of the patient in Israel, he passed away.