After close to a year of endless testing, it was final: the growth on my son’s hand had to be removed. Now all we had to do was decide on a doctor, schedule an appointment, and hope for the best. Simple, right?
I had once had an excellent experience with a phenomenal doctor, and I felt strongly that we should use that same doctor for my son. I thought I was set with the paperwork, so I scheduled an appointment and waited.
Two weeks before the appointment, I figured it was time to contact my kupat cholim and request the standard hitchayvut, or guarantee to pay, for the procedure. I was shocked when we were swiftly turned down!
I called the hospital secretary. “This doctor has been working here for 35 years,” she said. “His specialty is craniotomy, extremely sensitive head-related surgeries. Appointments with him can only be encoded as craniotomy. This surgery will cost you 74,000 NIS. If your kupat cholim doesn’t want to pay, fight it out with them.”
I knew there was no way I was winning this case. I also knew in my heart that we had to use this doctor. But 74,000 NIS – as opposed to the 20,000 NIS that we had not planned to lay out ourselves – was way, way out of the ballpark. Especially because my son needed something removed from his pinky.
When I called Chaim V’Chessed, I was immediately struck by the warmth of the organization. Just expressing my frustration – in English – to someone who wanted to help was such a rare experience for me, and it was so validating! I felt like I finally had a support system. Little did I know what a capable support system it would prove to be.
Rabbi Paysach Freedman took on the case as if it were his own. Where I had perceived refusal, Rabbi Freedman saw a challenge that he could, with enough perseverance, overcome.
For days, he made trip after trip to kupat cholim branches on our behalf, spoke with secretaries, and clarified details. He was rejected at first, for the same reason I had been, but it did not stop him. Rabbi Freedman continued rallying for us. He went so far as to get the Ministry of Health involved in the case.
The day before our appointment, the hospital secretary, whom Rabbi Freedman was in constant contact with, wanted to cancel our appointment because we still had no hitchayvut. Rabbi Freedman assured her that it would work out. As it happened, the doctor was out of the country at the time. The secretary finally agreed to call him. At the last minute, the doctor gave her a different code which the hospital would accept.
Rabbi Freedman immediately ran to kupat cholim with the new code and applied for a hitchayvut all over again. It worked!
The surgery was successful, baruch Hashem. We are endlessly grateful to Chaim V’Chessed. We know that there is no way we could have accomplished any of this without their intervention. Thank you!
– Family Z., Yerushalayim