Sunday, August 7, 2016

Massive, irreversible brain damage

[This event happened on July 28, 2016.}

The results of the CT scans and MRIs were conclusive and irrefutable: Raquel, a 31-year-old wife and mother of two lying in a coma had irreversible brain damage due to prolonged oxygen deprivation. According to scientific studies, in a case like this it would be next to impossible for a person to awake from their coma.

Weeks earlier, Raquel and her husband were vacationing in Florida when she woke up in the middle of the night saying that she didn’t feel well. She collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. But it was too late; Raquel’s body completely shut down. Every organ in her body was failing and she was put on life support.

“You need to get here as fast as possible. The situation is dire.”

Raquel’s husband called her parents in New York, telling them to come right away. Just before takeoff the doctor called them. “You need to get here as fast as possible. The situation is dire.”
Hours later, the entire family and close friends came together on a conference call to recite Psalms while doctors desperately worked to save Raquel’s life. During the intense prayer session Raquel coded, but doctors managed to get her heartbeat back, and her situation slowly stabilized.
During the first few weeks in the hospital, her organs began to regain their function and she was able to breathe on her own, but Raquel remained in a deep coma.

During this entire time Jews around the world sprang into action, storming the Heavens with their prayers and taking on additional mitzvot and acts of kindness for the merit of Raquel, Chaya Raizel bas Dina. The family was particularly supported by the Ohel Sara Amen group, a group of women in the Five Towns who come together every day to pray and learn Torah with an emphasis on truly integrating one’s belief in God in their day-to-day life.

“In the end it is all good. If it’s not good, it’s not the end yet!"

Although there was much sadness and despair, Raquel’s mother focused on her deep faith and trust in the Almighty. She wrote to a small group of women, “In the end it is all good. If it’s not good, it’s not the end yet! Please keep davening and learning for my daughter, and remember that God loves our children even more than we do. God’s mercy is even greater than ours. We don’t have to understand everything. We just have to give it over to God and let Him carry us through. May we hear good news soon.”

By the fourth week the family was able to transfer Raquel back to New York. The family, holding onto any threads of hope, received the results of the CT scan and MRI that was confirmed by a seasoned expert that Raquel had suffered massive, irreversible brain damage. The vibrant girl they all loved was no more.

The news plunged the family into grief. They gathered around their beloved daughter, wife and sister, and cried together. It is basically unheard of for someone in this condition to recover.

Raquel’s mother was steadfast in her abiding faith, grateful that her daughter was at least breathing on her own, and mindful of the incredible power of prayer to heal. Seven weeks after Raquel’s collapse, as she laid in a coma, the mother wrote, “I have spent much time contemplating this new reality. I do not know God’s will for us at this time but I trust that whatever it is it will be for our ultimate good and that it comes from a place of pure love. No, it does not feel like love and it does not feel good, but I overcome both of these feelings knowing that I do not have to understand God’s ways to totally trust that God wants what is good for me and my family. Trust in God is also acquired by learning gratitude. Focusing on the myriad blessings in my life and seeing each blessing as a personal expression of God’s love for me has helped me to trust Him. He has shown me so much kindness in so many ways that I have to trust that this challenge will prove ultimately to be an act of great kindness for us as well.”

Focusing on the myriad blessings in my life and seeing each blessing as a personal expression of God’s love for me has helped me to trust Him.

Raquel’s husband and mother sat at her side day in and day out. The women of the Ohel Sara Amen group arranged for Rabbi Paysach Krohn to take them to the gravesites of great rabbis who are laid to rest in the New York area, where they would pour their hearts out in prayer, beseeching God to grant Chaya Raizel bas Dina a complete healing. Raquel’s mother joined the group of 48 women as they went to the grave of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rabbi Avraham Pam and Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz as well as other Torah luminaries.

After finishing their prayers at one of the gravesites, Raquel’s mother’s phone rang and she saw it was her husband calling. She quickly picked up the phone.

“I want you to talk to someone," her husband said.

“Hello Ma….”

She froze in her tracks. “Is this Raquel?”


"Raquel, how are you!"

"Good, boruch Hashem."

Raquel’s mother started shrieking. "Raquel is up! Raquel is up! She is talking!!"

Her husband got back on the phone and she asked him, "Is this for real?"

"Thirty doctors and nurses are in the room right now to witness this miracle. They can't believe it. This is for real."

"Put her back on," she said as she put the phone on speaker. "Raquel say hello to all the ladies who are davening for you."


The women, in total astonishment, immediately recited mizmor l'todah and the Nishmas prayer thanking God for His unfathomable kindness. Everyone was stunned by the incredible display of the potency of prayer they had just witnessed.


  1. The internet is going crazy ever since Henri Rosenberg posted the following:

    “I must share an amazing amazing story that occurred today!! This is all true. There’s a girl Raquel Martone from the five towns. Some of you might know her. Now she’s Katz She has twin girls who are 4 and decided to finally take a vacation basically for the first time since they were born. She never wanted to leave them. While in Miami the first week of June she suddenly fainted one afternoon with no forewarning and then went into a coma. Her husband and family were beside themselves! The doctors were baffled and couldn’t understand what had made it all happen. After a week of sitting with her in the Miami hospital they transferred her to New York so they could all do round the clock rotation closer to home. Weeks and weeks went by. Nothing changed except that her condition deteriorated bit by bit.

    Her in laws Katz from Baltimore had the girls. And her parents sat by her all the time. This week they decided that 40 women would go together to the Queens cemetery that has R Yaakov Kaminetsky, R Henoch Lebowitz, R Yaakov Yosef, R Reuven Grozofsky Etc a lot of great gedolim and they would daven there together. They asked R Paysach Krohn to come and lead them in Tefillah. Today was the day!!! And much more than 40 women showed. R Krohn spoke a few minutes and then led them in Tehillim And they started davening with real intensity and fervor. It was emotional for everyone. And suddenly Mrs Martone’s cell phone rang!

    It was her son in law. Raquel who was on a respirator and a trach had just woken up!!! Everyone was crying! R Krohn was speechless. My mothers close friend Chaya Czermak was there. She said she it was a sight not to be believed. She called my mother on the spot. My mother said you could hear the crying and excitement of everyone thru the phone!! This is true!! It happened today.” see video at link

  2. Today I intend to share with my reading audience a modern-day miracle, one which occurred this past Thursday, but three days ago, when a 31-year-old woman, who was declared brain-dead, due to the deprivation of oxygen to her brain for a considerable amount of time, inexplicably arose from her coma and began talking and cognitively responding to questions, subsequent to the prognosis of the entire medical community of exports, who stated with absolute certainly, that her condition was 100% absolutely irreversible. The MRI and pet scan results revealed that there was absolutely no brain activity whatsoever, and therefore, correctly concluded that there was medically no possible imaginable scenario, on the which this woman would ever arise from her coma, or speak again. Nonetheless, at approximately 10 o'clock this past Thursday morning, she astounded the medical community and shocked entire world at large, by becoming the first ever documented case, to awaken from a coma that was precipitated by a complete and absolute deprivation of oxygen to the brain for a significant period of time. This can ONLY be attributed to a modern day miracle, being performed by the benevolent God. From an acquaintance

  3. Once she was stabilized sufficiently, she was flown by the dedicated team of Vital One from Florida to New York, where she was hospitalized at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.

    At that point, Raquel was, for the first time since she had collapsed, stable enough to undergo a cat scan and MRI. The tests revealed that her brain had suffered from severe deprivation of oxygen from when she had fallen unconscious in Florida until she was placed on a respirator. The respected neurologist at LIJ told Raquel’s parents that they might want to have another physician look at the scans for a second opinion. A veteran expert was consulted, and he confirmed that, although she was not brain dead, there was, indeed, irreversible brain damage.

    It was an Erev Shabbos, but for Raquel’s and Moishe’s families, it could have been Tisha B’Av. The news was devastating. Cat scans and MRIs don’t lie, and these results told the family clearly that the Raquel they identify disease in the body, was performed on Raquel’s brain. The test confirmed the devastating diagnosis of severe anoxic encephalopathy, which resulted in irreversible brain damage. Medically, there was no hope...

    As the group began to head to the kever of the Chofetz Chaim’s second rebbetzin, a piercing scream was heard. “I thought someone had dehydrated and fell,” Rabbi Krohn recounted. “There was such a panic.”

    As people drew closer to the source of the tumult, they quickly realized that the scream had come from none other than Raquel’s mother, whose cell phone had rung. She answered it, let out a cry, and almost fainted.

    Her husband was on the other line.

    “Someone wants to say hello to you,” he said.

    “Hello, Mommy,” said a voice on the other end.

    There was a pause.

    “Ra….Raquel? How are you?”

    Mother and daughter were conversing for the first time in two months.

    “Boruch Hashem,” was the response.

    The cell phone was placed on loudspeaker, so that the group of four dozen women could hear what their intense tefillos had accomplished, and then the call ended.

    It was real. And it was nothing short of miraculous. The women were delirious with joy.