The CHW Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Shamir Medical Centre – Alma’s Story



*some details were changed to protect the privacy of the family

Little Alma woke up in the middle of the night crying in anguish. Her mother, Jana, tried everything to soothe her cries, but nothing seemed to help the severe stomach pain Alma was experiencing. Alma had always been a healthy and happy toddler, so as her condition worsened, Jana feared the worst. Jana wrapped her daughter in a blanket and rushed her to the emergency room at Shamir Medical Centre.

Alma was immediately admitted to the CHW Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where the experienced medical team were quickly able to stabilize her. After a series of tests in the new, state-of-the-art facilities, an ultrasound of the abdomen revealed that Alma had swallowed five small magnetic balls, pieces from a toy recently given to her older sister.

Dr. Adi Kanushi (see image), one of Alma’s pediatric surgeons, said, “This was a life-threatening medical condition that could worsen to the point of creating a hole in the intestine and a widespread infection in the entire abdomen.”

Lucky for Alma, the surgical team at the CHW PICU was able to successfully remove all the magnets, leaving the little girl with no permanent damage.

With the ordeal now behind them, Jana was relieved to share:

“We had no idea that Alma swallowed anything; let alone something so hazardous. It was the scariest night of our lives, but we felt reassured the minute we walked into the CHW PICU. We knew that our daughter was in the most caring and capable hands. As parents, we’re so grateful to the entire team for their life-saving work.”

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