Ana Vishbein, a 25 year old Russian immigrant was injured in the Park Hotel Netanya bombing during a Pesach seder in 2002 in which 29 guests died and 140 others were injured. Pieces of shrapnel tore through her spine and left her paralyzed from the waist down. Ironically, Ana had been a professional gymnast before making aliyah to Israel and now she is confined to a wheel chair.
Ana has made a remarkable adaptation to her disability. She manages her household, raises a now 7 year old youngster, continues physical therapy, travels and has a considerable social life. In addition, she has taken up ballroom dancing with an intact partner and-- amazingly--participated in the Open European wheelchair dance competition in Poland this past year and won 3rd place.
She is determined to not be defeated by her injuries and when asked how she manages to cope Ana invariably mentions the help, love and support she received and continues to receive from Bridges and the total strangers—you--who cared enough to give her a helping hand.
Before receiving a governmental allowance, Bridges helped her with living expenses and helped her obtain a specially designed exercise unit she uses in her home to keep her leg muscles from atrophying. Since her husband earns a good living and she now receives a full disability stipend Ana no longer needs our financial support. Nevertheless, she gains strength from our continued contact, emotional support and interest in her welfare. Bridges sends gifts for herself and her child for the Jewish holidays and we invariably visit her on our trips to Israel.