This is the story of Ada Mazouz, confined to a wheelchair, whose family was evacuated to safety from the South by the Access Israel “Purple Vest Mission” Project

Since the war began, the Association has evacuated hundreds of people with disabilities and their families to safe and accessible sites.
Following is the story of Ada Mazouz, a resident of Ashkelon who is confined to a motorized wheelchair. Access Israel’s “Purple Vest Mission” evacuated Ada and her family
 
 
Ada with Irit Purple, West volunteer at the hotel

The State of Israel woke up to an unimaginable reality on the morning of October 7th. As the scope of the horrors began to unfurl, Access Israel’s “Purple Vest Mission” Project stepped into action. The mission aims to evacuate people to safe and accessible sites. The Association opened an operations center for people in need of evacuation to call and recruited hundreds of volunteers to help with the mobilization process.

Since the war began, the Association has evacuated hundreds of people with disabilities and their families to safe and accessible sites. This is the story of Ada Mazouz, a resident of Ashkelon. Both her legs are paralyzed and she uses a motorized wheelchair for mobility. Access Israel’s “Purple Vest Mission” evacuated Ada and her family.
When the war broke out on Saturday morning, Ada was in Sderot with her husband, visiting their daughter. Ada says that she was home alone with her husband when the sirens began, and they went into the secure space as was their “routine” in such situations. But this situation was anything but “routine”.

 

Ada describes that, about 40 minutes after the sirens ended, they started to hear endless gunfire outside and intercom to the apartment buzzed incessantly. Outside, she heard yelling in Hebrew with an Arabic accent, stating that it is the police and asking them to open the door. Ada and her husband were anxious and hysterical. They understood that there were terrorists downstairs, trying to break into their home, and they locked the door to the secure space they were in. Ada heard the terrorists break into their neighbor’s house and to two other houses nearby, murdering their neighbors. She understood that it was only a matter of time before they reached them.

 

Ada and her husband stayed in the secure space for about 36 hours, during which she sat in her wheelchair without going to a restroom, forced to sully herself. Throughout their stay in the secure space, Ada was in touch with Michal Rimon, CEO of Access Israel, who asked her how she was, how she can help and informed her that she found her safe and accessible accommodations in Kibbutz Dalia up north. Ada noted that it is not the first time Michal helped her. Within 10 minutes of sirens in Sderot, Michal would text to ask how she is and whether she needs help/evacuation. Ada, are you okay? Do you need help? Do you want to evacuate or go anywhere? I know that the first call will always be from dear Michal, I am aware of that and that is how it has been for years.

 

Finally, the Association evacuated Ada and her family to Kibbutz Dalia and also made sure that they were all fine, that the accommodations suited her needs, whether she could operate independently and, if not, the Association would see to her relocation. Ada describes: The accommodations were great, it enabled her to take a breath after what she had experienced. She could sit outside and rest after the horrors that she witnessed.

Several days later, Ada says: “Michal and the Association relocated us to another hotel and saw to all of our needs, including meals and an accessible room. Michal also gave us vouchers for the Landwer Cafe and volunteers visited us daily with fruit, snacks and hygienic products. We were taken to a place to get clothes since we left Sderot in a panic, with nothing. Ada concludes and says: “We were constantly accompanied throughout our stay at the hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel, Access Israel representatives were waiting for me to show me the room, spend time with me and ask me if I needed anything else”. 

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