CHW Weekly Stories

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)

Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh) – CHW PICU goes viral!

In February 2020, a story about an Israeli parent whose child was saved at The Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh), went viral. The family’s heartwarming experience in the midst of a difficult battle to save an innocent life touched so many people who were compelled to share the story on their social media.

The little boy was rushed to the PICU with obstructed breathing. He was admitted and received a life-saving procedure by the operating doctor who was called from home to deal with this medical emergency. When describing the situation, the boy’s father recalls that he “witnessed the sacrifices that medical professionals make each day and the dedication of countless doctors, nurses, and accompanying staff.”

With unrest surrounding the political elections, the boy’s father remembers feeling relieved as the hateful discourse remained outside the hospital doors. Instead, what he witnessed in The Shamir Medical Centre (Assah Harofeh) was a miracle of diversity, where the importance of attending to every patient transcended politics and religion.

Bemused, the father explained: “Over the course of several nurse shift changes, we had the most incredible people attending to my son’s needs. There was an older woman with a Russian accent, an Orthodox Jewish nurse, and another originally from Morocco. Every single one of them took care of my baby as if he was their own! Witnessing the care and affection my child was shown by the staff in this difficult time has added joy and optimism to our otherwise perilous situation.”

The father was grateful for the high level of medical proficiency and that the team worked together to save his son’s life, but he was particularly astonished by the diversity of the staff, all of whom represent a microcosm of the Israeli society. Seeing Christians, Jews, and Muslims of different backgrounds and views work together and put the lives of children before any external pressures of political or racial discourse, helped him trust the team attending to his son’s life even more so. He expressed that people who do things from their heart, are not defined by their differences, but by their actions and care they show to others.

Although the little boy still had a few more days remaining at the hospital when the story was posted, the father shared his belief in the capable caring hands of the medical staff at The Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh). With a renewed faith in humanity, he is encouraged about being part of the diverse and beautiful Israeli society, where people are people and will do anything to bring the best out in each other!

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