Whenever renowned jazz guitarist Dekel Bor, 36, returns to Israel, he indulges his passion second only to music: motorcycling. He belongs to the Israeli Dukati motorcycle club and goes out on speed rides through the countryside.

So it was this fall when Dekel headed off on a Saturday morning towards the Dead Sea. “It was heaven, but I knew we were going too fast, 180-190 kilometers-112 miles—per hour.” There were treacherous curves. “I took a left turn, knew I had leaned too deeply into it, hit a rock, tried to lift the bike back to an upright position, hit the safety belt, flew above it and landed in a ditch by the road.”

He was in agony. “A doctor who was riding with us, said it was no big deal-just a shoulder knocked out of joint. He called a friend not far away- -a surgeon, who called an ambulance. I refused to go unless I was being taken to Hadassah. I live both in Israel and in America, and the Hadassah brand has always been strong.”

Dekel couldn’t move his fingers and thought his spine was severed. It wasn’t, but he was hurt badly. Dr. Miklosh Bana who heads the trauma unit at Hadassah is soft-spoken. He quietly told Dekel that he had a hole in his lungs and chest, had internal bleeding, four broken ribs, and a detached collar bone and scapula.

“I realized I might die. Dr. Bana read my mind…. ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to save your life.’ I believed him, although I was still scared.”

At Hadassah Dekel was moved first to intensive care, then to general surgery, and last to orthopedics, where his floating shoulder was re-attached by experts Professor Rami Mosheiff and Amal Khoury.

“I saw genuine humility at Hadassah,” he said. “I think of myself in a certain way-a motorcycle-riding jazz musician-kind of macho. I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself. The young nurse named Dua took me, and she took the time to lecture me about not riding a motorcycle anymore. She told me about a relative who wound up in a wheelchair.

A religious young man who was singing to a family member, came over and sang to me at my request. He said he was embarrassed because he’d heard me perform. It was a celestial moment.

Dr. Amjad Faran, a pain expert doing a residency at Hadassah from Jordan, helped me cope with the pain that kept me screaming all night. The old Rabbi I shared a room with told me that I shouldn’t worry that the screaming was keeping him up-it reminded him that we are all God’s creatures. I got back my life, and it is a new life.”

Dekel Bor is recuperating at home with his parents in Kiryat Ono. According to Dr. Khoury, he’ll be able to perform again soon. “I’ll be back to Hadassah to give a benefit concert. You gave me my life, and I want to give back.”

By Barbara Sofer