What a day!
It is not yet 3:00 p.m. and I have already been involved in so many things here at Hadassah.
I started my day handling the media and other public aspects of treating two policemen who were shot in a terror attack south of Hebron.
Then, just when I thought I could go upstairs to my office to write to you about what happened, a heavily pregnant woman arrived in a car at the Ben-Gurion Square. Apparently she was already in labor. Within minutes the CEM staff arranged for a bed, screens (for maximum privacy), a gynecologist and two nurses that helped deliver the baby, and then took mother and new-born baby to the maternity ward.
Immediately after this happy incident, I participated in a very moving ceremony in the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, where a grateful former patient and her husband came to say “thank you” to the doctors who saved the wife’s life a few months ago.
Not bad for half a day, eh?
And now for more details about each of the events:
Early this morning as I was driving to the Hospital the radio program I was listening to was interrupted by a news flash – a terrorist shooting attack had taken place south of Hebron.
Three policemen were shot.
According to the radio report two of them were being rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem.
When I arrived at the hospital the Trauma Unit Team of our Judy and Sidney Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine was ready, waiting to receive the two ambulances bringing the terror victims.
At the site of the attack it had been decided to transfer the wounded via ambulance instead of helicopter, as it was estimated to be quicker under the circumstances.
Thirty minutes later the ambulances arrived at Hadassah. One of the two policemen was very severely wounded, the other moderately wounded, both suffering from injuries as a result of the gunfire.
Today’s incident was the first serious terror attack in the Jerusalem area for several months, and it attracted attention of local Israeli and international media. Many photographers and TV crews waited at the entrance to the CEM, eager to get as many visuals and verbal information as possible.
Sadly, the severely wounded policeman died shortly after arrival in the Trauma Unit, despite all the efforts of our physicians and nurses to save his life. His immediate family was called to come to the Hospital, and we all watched them when they entered the Trauma Unit, guessing the terrible news they were about to receive from the Hadassah physicians and nurses, and the Police Welfare Department representatives.
Meanwhile outside the rumor started to spread, but we couldn’t officially publicize it because there were still three brothers and sisters of the murdered policeman who had not yet been informed. We found ourselves moving in and out of the CEM, between the media and the wounded policeman, trying to divulge as much information as we could while retaining the maximum possible level of confidentiality.
Israel Police Force Head, Inspector General Commissioner Dudi Cohen, arrived at Hadassah to visit the wounded policeman, and to meet with the bereaved family members of his dead colleague.
Shuki Sofer z”l was 39 years old, and lived with his family and girlfriend in Beer Sheva. To add to this tragedy, the couple was preparing to get married in September. We arranged for an impromptu press conference where the Chief of Police told the media about what happened, and arranged for interviews inside the ER with the moderately wounded policeman.
Then, as the last TV crews were leaving Hadassah, a car arrived at the Ben-Gurion Plaza with a pregnant young woman. She was already in labor, and actually already started to give birth. Here at Hadassah we are very proud of our state-of-the-art delivery rooms and other facilities in our Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center, but at noon today there was not enough time – not even a couple of minutes.
Pnina Sharon, Head Nurse of the CEM - who had just completed managing the treatment of the two policemen in the Trauma Unit - rushed outside to the entrance plaza in order to help, while the gynecologists and obstetricians were called out for an ‘emergency delivery’.
Dr. Javier Mejia was the first gynecologist to respond to the call. When he reached the car the baby was already halfway out, and after just a few pushes the baby was born – a healthy baby boy. Then the mother and her newborn baby were taken to the delivery room, where Dr. Mejia and the Team provided the minimal medical care that was required.
This 23-year-old woman has a record of ‘unique’ deliveries at Hadassah – with her first baby a couple of years ago, she gave birth in the hallway leading to the delivery rooms.
Pnina Sharon who rushed between the ER and the makeshift delivery room, spoke about the paradox that take place every day here at Hadassah. On one hand we battle to save lives, and on the other we bring them into this world.
Indeed, as in many other incidents in past years, Hadassah is a place where tragedies and the beginning of new life intermingle.
And then, as if it was just “another regular day at the office”, I found myself in the Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Department Seminar Room, thanking Dr. Snunit Shoham, a lecturer in Information Sciences at Bar Ilan University, and her husband Yaacov from Modiin. They came to officially thank Prof. Allon Moses and his Team for saving Snunit’s life a few months ago. Snunit was admitted to our ER in September last year with a very severe internal infection inside the right part of her face that was moving towards her brain. It was a rare case where the infection was so acute it was threatening her life. Experts from the Departments of Maxillofacial Surgery, ENT and Infectious Diseases were called in. It was immediately obvious that she would require several operations of different medical specialties. It was Prof. Moses, a world-renowned specialist in the field of infectious diseases, who conducted this complicated and delicate orchestra, and determined the schedule of surgeries as part of the overall treatment program that was given to Snunit over the next two months.
When Snunit was discharged after two months hospitalization she was completely healthy, and able to return to her work, her four children and eight grandchildren. Today, she came with her husband Yaacov not only to say “thank you” and to tell Prof. Mozes that they considered him as a mentor on top of being a super doctor for saving her life, but to express her gratitude with a check of NIS 100,000. "You were there for us as a supporter when we had no where to go and no chance to come out of a real disaster", said Yaacov Shoham to Prof. Mozes choking with tears. "We know today that thanks to you and your colleagues at Hadassah Snunit is alive and returned to complete normal regular life".
Now I think I can try to start my regular working day…
Director, External Relations
Hadassah Medical Organization