SPOTLIGHT PATIENT: Ya'ari's Storry
I am honored to write to you as the President of The American Friends of ALYN Hospital. As Rosh Hashanah approaches, I look back on the past year with gratitude and forward with tremendous enthusiasm.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your president. ALYN Hospital was founded in 1932 by my great uncle, Dr. Henry Keller. The stories of ALYN are part of my DNA. Working to sustain his legacy, knowing what ALYN Hospital has accomplished in the past 90+ years, brings me great pride.
My passion for the hospital runs far deeper than just my familial connection. I believe in the importance of ALYN Hospital because it is the only rehabilitation center for children and youth in Israel and one of the leading centers in the world. ALYN specializes in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of children experiencing a wide range of congenital and acquired physical disabilities, regardless of their religion or ethnic background.
ALYN Hospital regularly receives professional delegations from around the world who want to learn about cutting-edge methods of care and treatment. ALYN’s Innovation Space is a one-stop shop for assistive technology innovation, serving both individual children in need of personalized solutions to their everyday challenges, as well as commercial start-ups seeking multi-stakeholder design partnerships.
I want to share one of the stories of the children of ALYN, in the hope that you are as inspired as I am.
Ya’ari is a 9 ½-year-old boy who lives with his family just outside of Jerusalem. One day, one year ago, he went to school as usual, but soon began to feel sick. When his nausea turned to vomiting, his parents were alerted, and he was taken to the local medical clinic. By this time, Ya’ari was already feeling weak and having trouble standing. From the medical clinic, he was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room, where a battery of tests showed that he had a large brain tumor. In the span of a few hours, Ya'ari went from being a seemingly healthy child to undergoing the removal of a brain tumor– his entire world and that of his family were completely upended.
When Ya’ari arrived at ALYN Hospital, he was unable to speak, eat or move. His multi-disciplinary rehabilitation program was built to help him completely re-learn how to do everyday tasks that most of us take for granted, and also to provide his parents with the support they needed in order to cope and to put their lives back together.
For six months, Ya’ari was fully hospitalized at ALYN, undergoing intensive rehabilitation with an emphasis on physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In due course, tutoring was added to his program in order to prepare him for returning to school. Ya’ari gradually strengthened, increasing his mobility, being weaned off the feeding tube, and saying his first words.
Recalling the difficulty with which Ya’ari began to vocalize, his mother Rachely relayed the joy when he finally was able to speak. "When he said his first word, 'Abba' (Father), we were so emotional. It was such a breakthrough. It gave me hope that he would be able to speak again."
Today, Ya’ari can speak, eat, and walk with the aid of crutches. He is back at home with his family, going to school 3 days a week and continuing his rehabilitation at ALYN Hospital as a day patient the other 3 days.
Ya’ari’s parents, Rachely and Michael, are so appreciative for the care and support of their son. "Rehabilitation is a process," Rachely acknowledges, "and we know that Ya’ari still has a long road ahead. We feel overwhelming gratitude knowing that ALYN will be by our side, holding our hand, the whole way."
“This place needs everything—every shekel, every dollar, every pound sterling—they made a miracle for my son. And not only for my son, but for all children who are treated here!.”
Stories like this occur on a regular basis at ALYN Hospital. I look forward to sharing more of these stories with you throughout the coming year. With your donation, ALYN can continue to provide “best in class” care and support for the children in need of their services. To learn more about the impact of your donation and the American Friends of ALYN, please visit our website at www.alynus.org.
Please join me in supporting this important rehabilitation center. Make your contribution to the American Friends of ALYN Hospital today.
Our Support becomes their success!
Thank you very much and Shana Tova to you and your family.
American Friends of ALYN