Most people are surprised that I love my job. I work with children, often only a few months old, whose muscles are too weak or lungs too diseased to enable them to breathe on their own. These children are referred to my department, the Respiratory Rehabilitation Department at ALYN Hospital, from intensive care units around the country. Almost all of them are connected to ventilators and often have been since birth. Some of them are alert and interactive, while others have significant neurological deficits. My patients have long lists of medical diagnoses on their medical documents. Eventually, almost all of them will be successfully discharged home from ALYN, but their chronic health issues will accompany them for the rest of their lives.

Most people are surprised that I can enjoy my job. They will never say it, but I know what many of them think: 'How can treating paralyzed young babies, who often will never be cured, be rewarding? Isn’t your work depressing, demoralizing, even pointless?'

In fact, it is far from it. I enjoy my job because it is a place of positive energy and optimism. Our work focuses on what can be done, not what can’t. We work to enable and facilitate each child’s maximum participation in family, school and social life. We see every child as a valued member of society, with the right to participate and contribute to the full extent of their interests and abilities, regardless of what those abilities may or may not be.

I find my job rewarding because it gives me the opportunity to help people in their hour of real need. Usually, such opportunities are not easy to come by. But in my job, they’re built into my daily schedule. Every meeting with a parent is an opportunity to explain something that might be confusing, to clarify what might lie ahead, to empower in the face of bureaucracy. It’s a chance to show parents that they are not alone in fighting for the well-being of their child.

At ALYN we think that each child is deserving of our full and best efforts to help them, for one reason only: because they are human beings in need of help and assistance. It doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from, or how mild or severe their disability may be. Each child is a human being, just like me and you, and deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and diligence. When we relate to our fellow human beings like that, we recognize their humanity. It was Thurgood Marshal, the first African American US Supreme Court justice, who said, “When we recognize the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest compliment.” Or in other words: when we recognize the humanity of others, we affirm our own humanity. My job reminds me of my own humanity, every day, and that feeling is deeply rewarding.

Dr Be'eri
Be'eri 444 × 320

Dr. Eliezer Be'eri is the Deputy Director General of ALYN Hospital and the Director of its Department of Respiratory Rehabilitation. The Department is the only one of its kind in the Middle East, and serves as a referral center for intensive care units around the country, as well as children from abroad.

Dr. Be'eri trained at Hadassah Hospital in Israel and Boston Children's Hospital in the USA. He is an innovator and pioneer in the fields of pediatric respiratory rehabilitation and home ventilation in Israel, with a focus on non-invasive ventilation techniques.

Dr. Be'eri has two patents, a textbook chapter and 11 international peer-reviewed research publications to his name.

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