Tuesday, February 3, 2015

From Keren Malki's Casebook: Yaron

A child-size Gecko Upright Stander: We were delighted
to be able to loan one immediately to Yaron's family
A little extra effort can go a long way...

In general, parents looking for assistive equipment for their child ring directly to the Yad Sarah hotline. Yad Sarah, based in Jerusalem and with many dozens of branches scattered across the country, is one of the largest providers of on-loan personal rehabilitative and mobility equipment in the world. It has been in a very effective and growing Joint Venture with the Malki Foundation since 2003. Here's a link to the launch event.

Sometimes, however, the parents ring us in the Keren Malki Jerusalem office. In general, we try to help the parents directly, even if it is just to take a message and pass on to the Joint Venture warehouse inside the Yad Sarah headquarters building in Jerusalem's Yefe Nof neighbourhood rather than bother them with having to make another phone call.

Yesterday afternoon, we received such a call and I was glad it had come directly to us.

In very broken Hebrew, the father introduced himself as Shlomo. (The names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals, but the facts are all accurate and real.) He asked if it would alright to speak in English. Of course, I said. Shlomo explained (in not much better English) that his family has recently made aliyah to Israel. Their son, Yaron, is five years old and has Cerebral Palsy. He has just had surgery on his legs at Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center, a 900-bed Israeli hospital located in Tzrifin, about 15 km south of Tel Aviv.

Yaron, said the father, now has plaster casts keeping his legs straight and apart. On release, the doctors advised getting an active stander for Yaron in order to get him upright for as many hours as possible during the day. Could the Malki Foundation help?

I asked Shlomo to hold while I rang Yisrael at our warehouse. Between us, we decided it would be best if Shlomo could send a photo of what the doctors recommended and then we would try to help. I explained this slowly to Shlomo who then emailed us the photos of what he was shown at the hospital.

Jerusalem: The Malki Foundation/Yad Sarah
Joint Venture is based in the Yad Sarah
headquarters building
First thing this morning, Yisrael checked the warehouse for available stock, and sent back three possible options. A few more phone calls ensued among myself, Shlomo and Yisrael. Then conversations between Shlomo and the doctor, and we came to an agreement as to which of the standers would be best.

To make things easier for Shlomo, he has Yisrael's cellphone number and will meet him at the Yad Sarah warehouse tomorrow morning at 9, where a Gecko stander will be ready for him.

Choosing to move your family to Israel from a western country is never an easy decision. How much more complicated it must be with a child with disabilities. I take my proverbial hat off to Shlomo, Yaron and their family. I am glad that in our way we could help with one problem.

Debbie Fishman
Malki Foundation, Jerusalem

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