In August 2019, Dor, then 15-years-old, experienced organ failure as a result of sepsis, bacteria that penetrated his bloodstream. Dor had to be resuscitated and overnight became a ventilator-dependent child with a severe brain injury, totally dependent on long-term care.
For two-and-a-half long months, Dor’s parents sat by his side in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Hospital. From there, Dor transferred from Hadassah to ALYN Hospital’s Respiratory Department for rehabilitation services in the only department in Israel specializing in pediatric respiratory rehabilitation. The family felt fortunate to have been accepted by this one-of-a-kind facility, and Dor quickly entered a routine of intensive rehabilitation therapies that included occupational and speech therapy, respiratory physiotherapy, music therapy and animal-assisted therapy.
When the pandemic hit, ALYN had to make some difficult decisions to protect its most vulnerable patients, the ventilator-dependent children. To do so, the Respiratory Department was completely isolated from the rest of the hospital and became an independent unit. Walls were constructed, visitors were limited and children being treated as patients were not allowed to return home.
This month, Dor was released from ALYN and has rejoined his parents and three siblings back home in Ma’aleh Adumim. Meital shared her gratitude to the staff at ALYN and the mixed emotions associated with finally bringing Dor home:
“Today we were released, we said goodbye to the amazing staff at ALYN Hospital and our feelings are mixed and our questions are many:
Will we manage with all the medical tasks of preparing special medicines and alternative nutritional formulas?
Will we know how to react when the temperature goes down and to connect the oxygen only when we really need to?
How will we live when our son is in the living room, when should we turn off the light, will noise disturb him and what if there is a knock on the door exactly when we are attending to his needs?
And how will he fit in with his sisters and brother who so longed for his return, but will now be competing for parental attention? One of them revealed to us that she took a picture of him out of an album and pasted it on a doll, and every time she missed him she hugged the doll with the pasted picture.
Many questions run through my head and heart, but we know that we will turn the answers into reality and we will be able to do it.
There are a lot of people to thank for the help with the preparations for returning home (which are not over yet). In the meantime - it is worth remembering that our world is, indeed, full of possibilities.”