Although shopping and public transportation in Jerusalem and other hilly areas dropped as far below normal as the temperatures on Thursday, health services still continued to function.

The voluntary organization Yad Sarah took patients for chemotherapy, dialysis, elective surgery and fertility treatment for over 13 hours with their Nechonit vans and other vehicles supplied with snow chains. Volunteers also took brides to salons to prepare for their weddings.

Jacques Meir, an 89-year-old Yad Sarah volunteer who lends out medical equipment, showed up for duty as usual. Among those to receive crutches were people who fell down in the snow. Oxygen balloons were brought to the homes of people with respiratory problems, and patients around the country kept in touch with the Jerusalem headquarters thanks to their emergency beepers.

Magen David Adom said that it rushed several women to hospitals to give birth, while a handful of women gave birth at home because there was no time to get them there via ambulance.

One was a 33-year-old Safed woman who gave birth easily to a healthy girl and was taken to Ziv Hospital by ambulance afterward.

Rivka Neuman, a 77-year-old Ashdod woman, was brought to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot after the wind blew her into the air and she fell, breaking her left hip. She was due to undergo surgery to repair the fracture.

The woman, who immigrated from Romania in 1947, said she had never experienced such wind and such a fall.

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