Update: 9 August 2012
Last May, Sydney Shore, from Los Angeles, inspired the Jewish community by raising $40,000 at her Bat Mitzvah for a hospital blanket for her cousin who was injured in a rollerblading accident and recovering at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
This August, Sydney's parents Judy and David Shore, the well-known Hollywood writer and creator of the TV series "House", visited their family in Israel and Hadassah. In addition to Yaakov, who is still recovering, they had a chance to visit Ephraim and Esther's newborn baby son, also born at Hadassah last week.
"I knew it was bad when I saw my wife's knees buckle and her hand grasped the wall for support. Our son Yaakov, 21, was hit by a car," relates Ephraim Shore, a well-known educator at the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
"It was 10 p.m. when we got the call that every parent dreads," Mr. Shore elaborates. Yaakov, a combat soldier, had been rollerblading near the Jerusalem Mall while home on leave. Now he was at Hadassah Hospital Ein-Kerem, undergoing emergency brain surgery.
Following two skull surgeries by Hadassah's neurosurgeons, orthopedists operated on his shattered leg. "It was indeed touch and go at the beginning," said Prof. Charles Sprung, head of Hadassah's Intensive Care Unit. Finally, the pressure in Yaakov's swollen brain went down to levels the doctors felt were safe enough to begin the process of allowing him to wake up.
When he was brought back to consciousness, he was able to recognize his parents. His long process of recovery began. After three weeks at Hadassah-Ein Kerem, he was moved to the rehabilitation unit at Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus. He continues with cognitive and physical therapy three times a week and now he can walk without crutches and his memory has vastly improved.
Ten thousand miles away, in Los Angeles, California, Yaakov's cousin, Sydney Shore, was celebrating her Bat Mitzvah. In lieu of presents, she asked guests and friends to say "thank you" to Hadassah for helping to save her cousin.
She wrote on her website:
"On May 23rd, 2011, my cousin, Yaakov, was very badly injured while rollerblading in Jerusalem. At first it wasn't clear whether he would even live, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Intensive Care Unit at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, he's now awake, talking. And although there's still a long way to go, we're hopeful he's on his way to a complete recovery.
"Aside from scaring my entire family, this made me rethink how I wanted to use my Bat Mitzvah money. My parents asked the staff at the hospital what we can do to help them in the future. They need a cooling blanket. This isn't an ordinary blanket. It's a very expensive and very needed piece of high-tech equipment that regulates body temperature. For people with head injuries, their body temperature can fluctuate a lot and this affects brain pressure which can be the most serious issue after these accidents, as it was for my cousin.
"In lieu of gifts, please help me help them save more lives by making a tax deductible donation on this site. Thank you so much. Love, Sydney."
Sydney Shore raised $38,000 for Hadassah!