HINSDALE – Ten years ago in Israel, a woman suffered devastating injuries as a result of a terrorist bombing while on a bus with family members.
Among these injuries was a shattered left femur. Since then, Chana Nathansen has been in physical pain, but it’s nothing in compared to the emotional anguish caused by a much greater loss.
“She said her biggest loss of all, of course, was that of her 3-year-old daughter,” said Hinsdale Orthopaedics surgeon Benjamin Domb, 37, of Oak Brook. “I have a 3-year-old, so this kind of bit at my heart strings, if you will.”
The suicide bomber killed 23 people.
Nathansen needed arthroscopic surgery on her right hip, but did not have the means to afford it. She was advised by Rabbi Avraham Elimelech Firer to contact Domb for help. Domb said Firer is a famous figure in Israel and throughout the world who advises people about where to go for medical problems.
Domb said he was touched by the rabbi’s recommendation and by Nathansen’s story. As a result, he agreed to do the surgery pro bono at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.
“This was an opportunity for me to get to do something good for someone who has gone through so much bad,” Domb said.
Domb performed the surgery July 24. He said it was a complex process because there was scrap metal in Nathansen’s body from the bombing and he encountered challenges in the other leg from a past hip replacement.
“She has since gone back to Israel and so far she’s doing great,” he said.
Providing aid to people like Nathansen was one of the reasons Domb wanted to be a doctor in the first place. He said his original desire was to “fix” people. If someone was severely ailing, he wanted the ability give them back a fruitful life.
“When you can make the difference in a person’s life between able-bodied or disabled, I think you make a tremendous impact on the rest of their life,” he said.