From Natalia Zamolodchikov
More than 20 years have passed since the tireless efforts of Izrail Moiseevich Gelfand played so memorable role in saving my husband's life after a devastating train accident.
My husband Sasha [Zamolodchikov] was hit by a train at full speed while taking a trip to the countryside outside of Moscow. His life was in critical condition when he arrived at a small rural hospital; under-equipped, run-down and from the looks of it, largely forgotten by the state. Sasha's chances of survival seemed rather grim.
By government regulations of the time, transfers from country hospitals to hospitals in Moscow were simply not allowed. On top of that, the doctors were suggesting that Sasha was not likely to survive the risky transportation even if an exception was made for his severe case. It was IM who was able to find a highly experienced doctor who said that the transfer, while definitely life-threatening, was the only chance Sasha had, and that he was willing to take on the transfer, if it was to be allowed. IM fought relentlessly through bureaucratic red tape to secure permission for the transfer. Sasha was transferred to one of the country's top hospitals with the best available equipment and top quality surgeons and staff.
Then the news came that Sasha's life depended on a transfusion of a blood substitute that was not available to the public at that time. IM organized an improbable timely delivery of the substitute by virtue of a sleepless night spent on countless telephone calls that kept many other people awake throughout that long, nerve-racking night. I was almost in tears when I learned of the effort that IM had put forth in uniting the leaders of the biological and medical community to save my husband's life.
As I look back on that time, I know that my husband's life is a gift, and we will never forget that it was IM whose genuine care for people above and beyond all else was a central part of making this gift possible. It is with a deep sense of grief and sorrow that I bear the news of the passing of a wonderful human being that has made such a profound impact in our lives.
An Impression of the I.M. Gelfand Memorial Tatiana V.Gelfand, December 11, 2009
Words on the Epoch of Gelfand Anatoly M. Vershik, October, 2009
from Doron Zeilberg Rutgers University (October 6, 2009)
from A. Zelevinsky (October 6, 2009: in Russian only)
A Tribute to I. M. Gelfand for His 80th Birthday I. M. Singer, 1993
Biographic Sketch Simon Gindikin, 1991