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Because the DMD affects all the muscles in Yoav’s body, he has been using a motorized wheelchair since he was 8 years old. The DMD also affects his lungs, which has led to problems with his breathing; his lungs fill up with mucus and he needs to use a special machine in the mornings and at night to remove it and help him breathe.
Yoav was born in Israel to French parents. After the diagnosis, Rachel explained, the government offices who were supposed to be providing for his health and general welfare refused to grant him any treatments. Their argument: “Until he is in a wheelchair, we can’t recognize his disability and therefore cannot provide care”.
Physical therapy is essential so that Yoav’s lungs function better and to prevent the accumulation of phlegm. But the twice-a-week physical therapy he gets at school is simply not enough to meet those critical needs. The result is that Yoav has been in and out of hospital with bouts of pneumonia and additional respiratory issues. He lacks an appetite and, as a result, is significantly underweight. He also suffers from iron deficiency and the problems that this brings on.
Rachel explained that the bills for therapies, medications and hospitalization expenses have been and continue to be financially debilitating for Yoav's father. He doesn't know where to turn for help.
The additional physiotherapy sessions that the Therapies at Home program makes possible are already lightening the load that has been sitting so heavily on the shoulders of Yoav’s father. Everyone in this story hopes they will help to avoid the need for more hospital visits for Yoav. And that he will find it easier to do the things normal teenagers want to do – listen to music, socialize with friends, and - in Yoav’s case - sail on the Mediterranean.