NEW YORK (May. 25)
The ailing mother of Avital Sharansky was airlifted on a stretcher out of Moscow on Sunday and flown via London to Israel, where she is now a patient at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem.
The personal rescue operation of Svetlana Stiglits involved an international cast that included a rabbi, travel agents, doctors, the Soviet Embassy in Washington, the U.S. State Department and the New York State Police.
Moreover, the drama included the reuniting of daughter Avital, wife of former prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky, and her mother, whom she had not seen in more than 15 years.
The American doctor who accompanied her out of Moscow said he thought her combined physical and mental condition would have killed her in another week.
The remarkable effort to bring Stiglits out involved the intercession of a Toronto travel agent and a rabbi who works in community affairs for the New York State Police.
Also involved in the humanitarian effort were members of the staff of U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.), and officials of Pan American Airways, British Airways, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police.