One year ago, a six-year-old girl named Aya Salef from Ramallah became extremely ill after accidentally drinking a poisonous acid that she found in her home. Aya was rushed to the emergency room at a hospital in Ramallah to be treated, however, the doctors believed that there was little that could be done to return little Aya to good health.

After undergoing 12 surgeries, Aya was still only able to eat through a tube. Mustafa, Aya’s father, knew that there was no way he could let his daughter live a life in this kind of condition. Mustafa recalls, “Aya would look at the other children playing and eating normally; and sadness would come over her. Aya could not eat solid foods due to the damage she had done to her stomach after drinking the poison.” It was at this time that Mustafa brought Aya to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center for help.

Dr. Gad Lotan, the Head of the Pediatric Department at Assaf Harofeh, treated Aya and shared:

“I and team of doctors worked to find a solution for Aya. We realized that we could move the stomach higher, to the chest, away from the thorax; allowing Aya to eat solid foods again.”

Dr. Lotan explained that this was a very intense procedure, and would require an extensive amount of recovery; they decided to go through with it. After a year at Assaf Harofeh, and a very challenging recovery process, Aya was finally released from the hospital and allowed to return home. Aya is now a healthy seven year old that is able to eat solid foods, play with other children, enjoy her childhood, and have the chance to grow into a healthy and capable young woman.

Mustafa recalls that leaving the Palestinian governed territory and arriving into Israel was life changing for him and his family. He was welcomed at Assaf Harofeh and felt that his daughter received the best healthcare one could find. He says of the experience:

“Thank you Assaf Harofeh for giving my little girl her life back. You saved my family.”

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