From Volunteerism to Rehab: Tikva and Shlomo’s Story

Man and woman in a cafeteria איש ואישה בחדר אוכל

Every morning, Tikva and Shlomo Sherbaff of Moshav Patish would pass ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran as they drove to work, not paying too much attention to the sign or what was or was not going on within the village.

It was not until Tikva retired from teaching after 38 years on the job that she learned about the unique activity at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran. Following a short period of full retirement, Tikva sought to enrich her time with some volunteer work. As an “Ezer M’Zion” volunteer at the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center, Tikva and her fellow volunteers went around the hospital with a coffee cart, distributing coffee and danish to patients, family members and medical staff. Slowly, Tikva became acquainted with the exceptional care offered at the Medical Center and the sensitive professional team who make it all happen.

Tikva discovered a whole new world, a world which, unbeknownst to her at the time, would play a central role in Shlomo’s life.

Years earlier, as a young IDF soldier in regular service, Shlomo suffered a leg injury. Though he managed to function over the years, as he got older the injury worsened to the point of requiring knee replacement surgery. Recuperation was projected to be both long and difficult, so Tikva, who by now had seen her fair share of rehabilitation patients, suggested that Shlomo go to the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center. Shlomo refused.

“Often, people like my husband don’t know what goes on here. They don’t understand,” says Tikva. “Sometimes they are caught up in the stigma of being in a rehabilitation hospital, but since I volunteer here, I was able to tell Shlomo was it is really like and convince him to give it a try.”

Shlomo finally agreed and is presently an in-patient in the orthopedic ward of the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center for rehabilitation.

“From the second he was admitted,” continues Tikva, “he never said he wanted to go home. The atmosphere, the cleanliness, the overall organization and the care. . . We go home for the weekend (Friday/Shabbat) and he asks me when are we going back to the village. Saturday night he is already back in the ward because he doesn’t want to miss early Sunday morning therapy.”

Two weeks after being admitted to the orthopedic ward as a wheelchair user, Shlomo is now walking, using only a cane. Shlomo begins the day with physiotherapy, continues to the gym and then moves on to hydrotherapy. The recovery process is not easy, but Shlomo does not cut himself any breaks, and the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center physiotherapy team does not give up. “If not for the close and comprehensive support of the center’s medical team and the frequency of treatment, Shlomo would not be standing up now.”

An added bonus, one that Tikva and Shlomo are quick to acknowledge, is the optimistic and friendly way staff members relate to patients. “Shlomo has developed a very nice relationship with one of the nurses, Samira, and we enjoy her company. Patients are not stuck in their rooms all day long – they have opportunities for interaction, sit together in the lobby during the afternoon and eat together in the dining room. Hospitalization here inspires friendliness.”

Now that they know what goes on behind the sign, Tikva and Shlomo are spreading the word to other area residents, letting everyone know about the special jewel – ADI – in their own backyard.

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