Three families with children serving in the Israel Defense Forces have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
Injured last Friday, while serving in the Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Haredi) army brigade, Naveh Rotem, 22, was bashed in the head with a large boulder by a terrorist. Rushed to Hadassah Hospital, Naveh underwent one surgery with two surgical teams: the neurosurgery team and the oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) team. Naveh underwent three surgeries with both the neurosurgery and OMS teams. Most thankful for his recovery are Naveh’s family, which includes his wife, 5-month-old baby, and his parents.
"We were so lucky to come to Hadassah with such professional treatment," said Naveh’s father, Mutti Rotem. The couple are spending Shabbat with his parents.
Naveh's wife, Gal, is a second-year student in at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Occupational Therapy. "I know about Hadassah," she said. "In our first week of school we learned how as early as 1947 the first occupational therapy course was established in the Hadassah Nursing School on Mount Scopus, with a class of 20 participants. Please thank them for this amazing hospital. The neurosurgeons saved my husband, and the whole staff is so caring and professional. Having a private room in the Davidson Tower made a huge difference for us to be together with Naveh."
Gal recalls hearing on the radio that there was a terror attack in Beit El, where Naveh was serving, and was relieved that no one called her. Then her mother-in-law, Osnat, called and said she was coming over and would be there in ten minutes. "They were the longest ten minutes of my life," she said. Two soldiers were with her mother-in-law and told her that Naveh was seriously wounded. "They had come to my house, but I was busy with the baby and didn’t hear the doorbell. I thought, 'at least he's alive. It was very hard to see him with his terrible head injury.'" Naveh will be back in the hospital next week for continued treatment. He has many facial wounds and will need plastic surgery and maxiofacial surgery.
Nathaniel Felber, 20, was also serving in the Netzach Yehuda IDF unit when he was injured last Thursday while guarding a bus stop. Nathaniel was shot by terrorists in Givat Assaf, near Ramallah. His parents Judi Abramson Felber and her husband Joe Felber together with their extended families, gathered on the 12th-floor healing garden close to their very seriously wounded soldier son. Nathaniel has been transferred from the surgical intensive care unit to the neuro intensive care unit.
Nathaniel underwent a complicated surgery on the right side of his head. Still seriously injured — in life-threatening condition — his mother Judi offered thanks to Hadassah for providing her family comfort during this time.
"Please tell Hadassah supporters that we can’t thank them enough for the excellent care and loving, family-like embrace in the hospital. We appreciate the high level of medicine, and the thought that went into everything, even building a tower with healing gardens with benches for the families. I want to thank you all for your interest in these difficult times and ask you to continue praying for Nathaniel’s healing— Nathaniel Ilan Ben Sheyna Tzippora—and supporting Hadassah Hospital’s incredible staff."
Liza Nataf, 19, a border policewoman was injured in the terror attack at Damascus Gate. A lone soldier from France, she was transferred to the orthopedics department at Mount Scopus and was treated by knee expert Dr. Adi Fridman. Liza’s mother visiting from France for Hanukkah and was able to be with her daughter in the hospital.
Nataf has been released and is home recovering.