Thousands come together for Liora

Outpouring of emotion for woman on life support


Thousands of people around the world have responded to a Hendon family's plea to pray for their 20-year-old daughter, who is on life support.

At the time of writing, Liora Rosenberg, a former Hasmonean and JFS pupil, was in critical condition in hospital after suffering "a bleed to the brain" and pneumonia.

She was taken ill and admitted to hospital before Pesach.

More than 12,000 people joined the Facebook group, "Do a mitzvah in the name of Liora Rosenberg", which was set up on April 21 on behalf of the family to urge the community to "pull together, storm the heavens and do anything we can" to save the teaching assistant through prayers, good deeds and charity.

An additional JustGiving page, set up in her name, has so far raised over £20,000.

Over £17,000 is raised by well-wishers

Liora's mother, Lauren, who is orginally from France, wrote on Facebook on Monday: "Please pray, I know my daughter is alive, even though at the moment she is on life support and has no reaction or movement."

She also wrote on Sunday: "I was told that my daughter will die on Monday, then on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, but thank God she is still with us.

"Doctors wanted to do the last test to confirm she is brain dead, but till now they have been unable to do the test as Liora's sodium level is too high. Thank God for this."

People from all over the world joined the group and posted messages of support, declaring they were praying and doing mitzvot in her name.

A man with the Facebook name of Yaacov Rab-eye Bee Benzaquen wrote: "I was at the Kotel this afternoon with my boys and I prayed for Liora and her family."

Another user, Vanessa Lelah, from Sydney, said: "Liora has been added to mesheberach prayers for the sick in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Singapore.

"Please can all of you withnrelatives in different countries contact your rabbis to add her to lists in local shuls."

Some members of the Facebook group provided contact details for private doctors and alternative medical practitioners, while others offered to organise transport to and from the hospital for family members.

Other group members said they had donated blood for the first time, and another said she had donated her hair to a charity. One woman created a spread sheet that people could use to organise their prayers.

The family of the 20-year-old, who works at a Jewish school in north London, has changed her name to Chaya Leah Rachel bat Esther - an act which is said to ward off the evil eye.

United Synagogue Rabbi David Mason, of Muswell Hill Synagogue, explained: "You add the name Chaya when someone is critically ill. Chaya means life and it is considered good luck and adds strength to the prayers for her."

Liora's mother met doctors at the Royal London Hospital on Monday to plead with them not to take her off life support and wait before carrying out the stem-cell test that would determine her brain activity.

Mrs Rosenberg wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: "Please pray for the doctors to give the vitamin C [injection] as they refused and [that they wait] an extra two days before doing the brain stem test. So far they have refused my request."

Barts Health NHS Trust said: "Our consultants and ward staff are in close contact with the family and meeting regularly. At the trust, we will always listen to the wishes of our patients and their families to ensure their involvement in decisions about care."

A JustGiving page has also been created on behalf of the family which said that giving charity could help bring about a miracle recovery. In days, more than £17,000 was raised for the emergency volunteer service Hatzola NW.

Rabbi Mason explained: "There is the idea that giving charity can save you from death, which is why, in this case, people have donated so much."

Family friend Tali Silas, 17, from Finchley, north London, was one of the thousands moved to help the family online.

Ms Silas, who is a friend of Liora's sister, Fiona, set up a Twitter account calling on people to pray for her.

She said: "I've been speaking to Fiona and she is convinced a miracle will happen, the whole family are. They have been overwhelmed by the amount of support they have had and are so grateful. They need all the help they can get."

The Yavneh student added: "Liora had so many friends, people are so upset about it. She is so popular. She is great at art too and loves reality TV programmes, just like a normal girl."

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