God. Allah. Yahweh. Elokim. King of Kings. Almighty... so many different faiths and Gods. But on that hot summer day, at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, on the MICU floor—medical intensive care unit, last stop for those patients with very little chance of survival—all who are present quickly realize there is only one god. Call him what you will; He is the only one with the power to spare the life of your loved one.
In 1979 after spending months in the middle of the Islamic revolution in Iran, watching people getting killed, homes being burnt, friends getting arrested, Soheila Adelipour and her family, being Jewish and fearing for their lives, escaped the turmoil, the shooting, the Allah Akbars, the chaos, the tortures and left the lawless country with couple of suitcases. They arrived in the United States searching for freedom, a new life and the American dream in the land of opportunity.
Life was not easy at the beginning for the close knit family. The four girls, Nahid, Zohreh, Soheila, Nazee and Fariborz, the only boy, stock together, worked hard, got married, had kids and settled down in new York. While the youngest, Fariborz, the pride and joy of the family became a sought after Neurosurgeon at the Lenox Hill hospital in Manhattan. The tall, dark and handsome Dr. Noban, a real-life Dr. McDreamy, saved lives and doted on his own American wife and two daughters.
The good life of work, family and friends is shattered by the death of Soheila’s second son Stefan, a star student, in a dorm room fire just months before his graduation from Boston University. The victim of the worst tragedy any parent can endure, Soheila manages to keep up a strong front, establishing a foundation in her son’s name and doing tremendous good in honor of his memory. Still, nothing will ever be the same; the lifelong optimist who joyfully danced through life is shaken to the core. Her faith is further tested when older sister Zohreh, suffering from numerous benign brain tumors, must undergo five brain surgeries over the years. The complications are brutal; her sister has been blind for two years and deaf for months when she finally stops eating, gives up the fight and takes her last breath in front of Soheila’s eyes.
IN THE PRESS
It was so moving and it was a privilege to read it. What a sensitive Family. I am so touched by your words.