A Dangerous Infection

Going into those terrifying hours when my son's life hung in the balance, I had six hours of thanking Hashem already under my belt as a merit for me and my son…”

5 min

Breslev Israel staff

Posted on 28.02.20

I heard this story first hand from a friend of mine, who gave me permission to share it with our wonderful readers! 


I got a call Erev Shabbat from my oldest son’s teacher. He was really struggling with his letters when he should have already been reading fluently, and was having serious learning difficulties, among other problems in the classroom. The situation could no longer be ignored, and major interventions were necessary… 


I managed to put myself together enough to prepare for Shabbat, but that night, I just could not sleep. I was overwhelmed with worry. My husband suggested that since I couldn’t sleep anyway, I should do 6 hours of hitbodedut about the situation – but only thanking! I took his advice, and was able to sleep afterwards, plus he helped me get in a long nap in the afternoon. 


Sunday morning, I decided to take my son to the doctor. He hadn’t been feeling well, had a moderate fever, and wasn’t eating or drinking since the day before. The doctor said that it was just a virus and that everything was fine. I pushed the doctor a bit: “He didn’t even drink yesterday or today – maybe he should get some fluids?” The doctor said that he didn’t think it was necessary, but gave me a referral for Urgent Care, and told me to feel free to take my son if I felt he needed it. 


I went home and told my husband what the doctor said. We both agreed that since the doctor said that everything was fine, why should we take him to Urgent Care now? We’ll take care of him at home. 


As the evening wore on, we still couldn’t get even liquids into my son, so eventually I decided to take him into Urgent Care for fluids. We were in the triage room for approximately one minute, when a doctor came running in: “The ambulance is already waiting for you downstairs to take you to the hospital!” I was totally confused as the staff loaded my precious son onto a stretcher, and I pleaded, “But we are just here for fluids?!”  


We got to the Pediatric Emergency Room, and things seemed pretty calm. My son was admitted and I stayed with him through the night. I just did not understand what all the fuss was about. As the time wore on into morning, my husband and I decided that I should come home to help him get the other kids off to school, and then go back to the hospital. I told my son, “I should be back within a few hours, and then I assume you’ll be released.” 


I came back a few hours later – and my son was no longer in his room. Hysterical, I finally found a nurse who explained that he had been moved into Intensive Care! I pray no other mother ever knows what it is to walk into a hospital room to see your child completely covered in tubes. I called my husband, who came immediately. Over the next few hours, we watched his vital signs drop and drop, and we understood that he was fighting for his life. He had a dangerous bacterial infection that the insurance doctor had completely missed… 


Thank you, G-d, he pulled out of it. The head doctor came to us after my son stabilized saying, “I don’t know what kind of merit you have, but you must have done something to deserve this miracle. He shouldn’t have made it, and there is no doubt that if you had listened to the doctor instead of your instincts and waited even a few more hours to come into Urgent Care, without a doubt, there would have been no one to save…” 


I knew exactly what that merit was – my six hours of thanking Hashem for my son’s problem and my anxiety over it. Hashem in His mercy, directly preceded that dreadful conversation with my son’s teacher to the infection that was already taking hold even though we didn’t know it, so that going into those terrifying hours when his life hung in the balance, I had six hours of thanking Hashem already under my belt, standing for me – and my son…” 




I just cannot stop thinking about this story. True, it’s an incredible “I Said Thank You and Saw Miracles” story, but what is amazing is that she didn’t even know what she should be saying “thank you” for! She was worried about school issues (however serious), when her son was hours away from near death! 


This story made me pause and think: “How much do we need to say thank you to G-d for life itself! For the lives of our family members!” It is so easy to fall into the Evil Inclination of becoming depressed over all sorts of problems big and small, and totally miss the critical appreciation for the basics, which are really the fundamentals of everything. “Thank you that I am alive to have this problem!!!” “Thank you that I am healthy to be worried about finding my soul mate, instead of worried about finding a mate while living with a major health problem… or unable to be married at all…”  


Essentially, whatever your issue is – “thank you, Hashem, that THIS is my issue, and not something a lot worse!” Because there are lots of people out there living the “lot worse” situation, and you never know if the next moment, that person could be you! G-d willing, it isn’t going to be you – so say “thank you” and appreciate that just in living whatever life you are living, a lot of other people would be willing to give up everything, just to have your life… and no one knows when the next moment, they would give anything for the life they themselves had just yesterday… 



If you also have a “Say Thank You and See Miracles” story you would like to share, please send it to us! Stories may be posted on our website anonymously and sent to Rabbi Arush. 



Please email rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il  with your story. 






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