ALYN HOSPITAL THERAPIST'S WORK WITH WOUNDED ISRAELI SOLDIERS
January 14 marked 100 days since Hamas’ brutal attack on the Israeli people. It is essential that we take the opportunity to honor the men and women fighting for Israel’s survival, to mourn those who have passed in this war and to pray for those still held hostage in Gaza. It is also an opportunity to recognize Israeli civilians who are contributing in remarkable ways to the war effort.
One of ALYN Hospital's most senior physical therapists, Nurit Stern, has been sent to Sheba-Tel HaShomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv to help the overburdened rehabilitation staff at the facility where scores of soldiers injured in the war in Gaza are being treated.
Nurit spends half of her day providing physical therapy to soldiers, and the other half working in the geriatric ward, filling in for staff who have been transferred to work with the soldiers, or who themselves are serving in the reserves.
"Witnessing the sheer number of wounded soldiers in Sheba is a stark reminder of the harsh realities of war. Each soldier's injuries, as well as the impact on their families, evoke a mix of emotions within me. While I find great satisfaction in my work, it is impossible to ignore the significance of so many injured young people.
The soldiers I work with have endured gunshot wounds, shrapnel injuries, and blast impacts. These injuries are complex, involving various orthopedic, soft tissue, nerve, and blood vessel damages. Comparing this to my experience at ALYN, the injuries differ significantly. Most soldiers are young adults doing their mandatory army service. What sets them apart from children is their unwavering determination and ambition to achieve better outcomes, even in the face of pain. There are more opportunities to address their mental blockages to progress, such as anxiety about pain, through therapeutic techniques like explaining the anatomy of injuries, recovery mechanisms, and using demonstrations in practice."
For Nurit, treating the soldiers hits very close to home. She has sons of her own who are currently serving in the war.
"At ALYN, I work with many children who have experienced sudden tragedy such as a road accident or cancer, and I've learned to develop defense mechanisms to help me suppress the fear of such disasters happening to my own children. However, when working with soldiers, especially considering the fact that my own sons are currently serving in the reserves, the worry becomes more prominent. I choose not to share this fear with them, but it is always at the back of my mind."
Of course, Nurit has not forgotten her special patients who continue their rehabilitation at ALYN.
"I continue to be updated after our weekly staff meetings to discuss each and every hospitalized child who is undergoing physical therapy at ALYN Hospital. I feel privileged to have the full support of ALYN's entire physical therapy team, some of whom have been filling in for me while I cannot be present.
Working in rehabilitation at Sheba is an essential part of the national effort, and it holds great significance for me. The rehabilitation staff at Sheba carry an enormous burden, even with assistance from both external and internal volunteers. I must commend the staff for their dedication and the volunteers, from Sheba retirees to individuals from abroad, for their contributions. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone involved in making it possible for ALYN Hospital to allow me to be a part of this special gesture of support of the soldiers."
We are grateful to Nurit for her selfless dedication and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to help those who have been injured while defending Israel and her people.