Hadassah

From Under a Bus to Top of the World

Tuesday, Apr 28 2015

Liana Alverez in Hadassah's Hospital is visited by her husband, Angel, and Barbara Sofer.

Liana Alverez was walking up the steep roadway to Jerusalem’s King Solomon Hotel during a Jewish Women’s Renaissance trip to Israel when suddenly a bus came careening down the hill. There was no way to dodge it.

Liana, 36, tumbled and screamed, “Stop, stop, stop!” But the bus landed on top of her. "Loads of people were there,” she recalls. “I was feeling woozy. There were sirens. My clothes were being cut away, but I wondered why they weren't taking me out from under the bus.”

Liana had not realized she was wedged under one of the wheels. The fire department had to jack up the bus to free her.

When Liana arrived at Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), Dr. Miklosh Bala, Director of the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Unit, was waiting for her. "She was very badly injured and in shock,” he relates, “so that she couldn't understand the enormity of what had happened to her.”

Liana was like a puzzle that needed to be put together again, Dr. Bala explains. It was difficult to decide what to do first. They needed to open her stomach. They needed to close off the bleeding arteries. The orthopedists needed to fix the broken bones. She had an open pelvic fracture from which 50 percent of patients die. “The initial treatment of an open pelvic fracture is critical in order to save the patient’s life,” notes Prof. Rami Mosheiff, head of HMO’s Orthopedic Trauma Unit.

Liana was sedated and intubated and a multidisciplinary team of experts was summoned. She underwent several surgeries, including an urgent angiography to treat the internal bleeding into her pelvis and several other procedures to deal with her soft tissue injuries. Her damaged muscles and destroyed skin added to the challenge of managing her case, explains Dr. Bala, because necrosis (death of the tissue) and infection were a great worry. Liana had to be anesthetized just to change her bandages.

“Having a private room for her made all the difference,” Dr. Bala says. "She had a much better chance of surviving in the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower." Nevertheless, although optimistic, Dr. Bala did not allow himself to take one vacation day while she was under his care. “One slip up and she would die.”

It helped, too, that Dr. Bala spoke Russian because Liana was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and her native language was Russian. Dr. Bala, who was born in Russia, immigrated to Israel after finishing medical school there, having graduated from Moscow Medical Academy and Grodno State Medical University in Belarus. Dr. Bala did his residency in surgery at HMO, beginning in 2000, when the intifada began. His experience with terror victims exposed him to trauma medicine in which he later specialized. Dr. Bala is married to a physician and one of his two children served as an Israel Defense Forces medic during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

“Thank goodness, the treatment went like clockwork,” Dr. Bala comments. "And Liana was a remarkable, upbeat patient, who did everything we asked of her to get her better."

"The doctors are brilliant," Alverez says. "I know they saved my life."

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Dec 7 2016

Saturday Night Lively: Hadassah Israel Fundraiser Wows Largely Orthodox Audience of 1200

Hadassah International Israel (HII) drew over 1200 men and women to a concert at Tel Aviv University, targeting the funds raised for renovation of the rehabilitation facilities at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Dec 5 2016

Celebrated Israeli Psychiatrist/Neurobiologist To Join Hadassah Medical Staff

Prof. Yoram Yovell, renowned Israeli psychiatrist and neurobiologist, will soon be joining the Hadassah Medical Organization’s “brain medicine branch,” which includes the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and neurosurgery and is under the direction of Prof. Tamir Ben-Hur.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016

Hadassah Teams Up with Spinal Cord Institute to Study Outcomes of Traumatic Injuries

The medical interventions and outcomes for Israelis with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), thanks to the November 16th launch of a partnership between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization named after the paralympic athlete who suffered a severe spinal cord injury following a car accident.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

Ethiopian Pre-Nursing Students: On the Way to Fulfilling a Dream

“I know that some people are fine with looking at a screen all day, but I know I need the human touch--to work with people. I want to be a nurse, " relates Sarah Talala, one of the 18 students of Ethiopian background who were given the opportunity to take a course which enabled them to advance to pre-academic studies at the Hebrew University and then on to nursing school at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More