On Friday mid-day, after we got back from our short ride to Yad Kennedy (a memorial to JFK located in West Jerusalem – the photo at the right shows Ron and Michael in front of the memorial) – Ron went off to run some errands, while I stayed back at Alyn Hospital for a tour. What an
incredible place!! The have 200 patients at any one time, with a waiting list. They have a full respiratory ICU, and a step-down unit, and then move kids home with a day program of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and schooling. Their goal is to mainstream, to the best ability of each child, and they are also committed to helping the families learn to cope, and most important, not to be afraid of their child’s disability. We were all impressed with how clean, spacious, and full of light all the hospital is!
The original hospital was built in 1962, and most of the children who originally were treated at that time have been housed in the community, but 4 individuals were left too disabled to leave, and without family to care for them, so Alyn built the Independent Living Neighborhood, where each resident has his/her own room, in a shared suite, with their own kitchen, so that if they want to cook for themselves, they have that choice. They each have their own postbox, and the hallway even has a street sign. While we were touring, we met a young man named Aryeh, quadriplegic, in a motorized wheelchair, on a mechanical ventilator, who proudly showed us his room,and told us of a small computer sales business that he has set up in the common room of the “neighborhood”. It was inspiring!!
And here’s the view from the Independent Living Neighborhood – breath-taking!
We’re heading to bed now, to get up early for our start from Jerusalem to Ein Gedi, below sea-level on the Dead Sea. I don’t know whether we’ll have internet access along the way, so we’ll post from Eilat on Thursday when we get there!