PELE’S WARTIME MIRACLE
The PELE track of the Innovation Space at ALYN Hospital, made up of professional staff members and volunteer designers and engineers, provides case-driven, personalized, affordable solutions for children who face physical challenges to independence in their day-to-day activities.
With the outbreak of war and the evacuation of civilians from their homes along the northern and southern borders, children with disabilities who had already acquired independence and whose homes were adapted to their needs found themselves in hotels and other temporary housing, without their adapted equipment. In response, PELE has risen to the occasion and has been in search of solutions for these children.
One boy named Eitan has a rare syndrome that results in extremely short stature. While he is nearly 3 years old, he is the size of a child half his age. Before the war began, he lived with his family in a community south of Ashkelon, and his home was adapted to meet his unique needs and had the special equipment he needed to be as independent as any child his age. Due to the ongoing missile strikes from Gaza into Israel, he and his family were forced to flee the area and they are currently living in a hotel. Now, Eitan can't climb onto the high beds of the hotel room by himself. He can’t even reach to use a chair to help him get on the bed. He can't reach the sink to wash his hands, brush his teeth, or use the tap for a cup of water. The hotel dining table is too high for him.
His mother expressed to the PELE staff how concerned she is that, after all the incredible progress that he has made just in the last few months (before that he barely even crawled), he will start to get frustrated at once again being dependent on others, and instead of exploring his world and developing like other toddlers his age, he will regress.
After meeting with Eitan and his mother to understand the situation, the team at PELE concluded that the simplest and quickest solution was to purchase an off-the-shelf product – plastic stairs with a stand – to which the PELE team of volunteers could add a railing to prevent falls with handles to make it more portable. This way, Eitan will be able to easily transport his stairs with him wherever he goes, and be able to safely reach high places independently, like any child his age.
This alone would be a small victory amongst the chaos! But something else miraculous happened. When the PELE was team was meeting with the family, they noticed Eitan used a feeding tube. The team recommended that the family contact ALYN Hospital’s renowned Feeding Rehabilitation Clinic to see if Eitan could be weaned off the feeding tube. They did and he has! In only three weeks of participation in the clinic, Eitan is mostly off the feeding tube and eating independently. A true miracle happened there!
Learn more about the work of PELE.