Archives for 2013

05.01.2013 – Two are nearly blinded by Lag Ba’omer air-rifle hijinks


Niv Nir, a 13-year-old girl from Gan Yavne, and Omer Sabag, a 23-year-old man from Ashdod hurt in identical incidents.

OMER SABAG (left) and Niv Nir (right), who suffered similar eye injuries this week
OMER SABAG (left) and Niv Nir (right), who suffered similar eye injuries this week Photo: Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center

A teenage girl and a young man almost lost their sight earlier this week in two identical incidents involving BB-guns (air rifles) during Lag Ba’omer campfires.

Ophthalmologists at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center urged parents to keep such weapons out of their children’s hands, as they can cause irreversible damage to the eyes.

Niv Nir, a 13-year-old girl from Gan Yavne, and Omer Sabag, a 23-year-old man from Ashdod who formerly served in an IDF engineering unit, were hospitalized on Sunday in adjacent rooms.

Prof. Ayala Pollack, who heads Kaplan’s eye department, said there was a shocking similarity between the two incidents. Air rifle projectiles caused significant damage to both patients’ eyeballs and nearly blinded them. Both may need surgery in the coming days.

Sabag was due to start his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He left his home on Sunday night to celebrate Lag Ba’omer with a friend.

“I was talking to the friend on my cellphone when a child fired a BB-gun toward his friend behind me, but the projectile hit me in the eye,” he recounted. “The boy was very frightened and ran to me. I calmed him and rushed to Kaplan’s emergency room.”

Nir, a junior high school student, was with a school friend when she saw boys playing with a BB-gun.

“I thought they didn’t have any bullets in them or anything that could endanger us,” she said. “But then suddenly, I saw the gun was aimed at me, and a pellet smashed through my glasses. I started to shriek from pain.”

Her frantic friends called home, and her parents rushed her to Kaplan’s emergency room as well.

She said she had recently seen schoolmates playing with air guns, but had never dreamed that she would be hurt by one of them.

Dr. Amir Hadyar, a Kaplan ophthalmologist, said both had been seriously hurt in the left eye. In Nir’s case, her plastic eyeglasses had shattered, and the pieces caused a significant laceration of her cornea and invasive damage to her eye.

“We inserted a contact lens into her eye to bring the edges of the cut together,” Hadyar said. “We hope it will succeed.

She may have to have surgery in the near future.”

As for Sabag, the force of the pellet caused trauma and massive bleeding to the inside of the eye, and he couldn’t see.

The young man is getting medication aimed at absorbing the hemorrhage. After that, the doctors will assess whether surgery is necessary.

The Kaplan doctors called on the public, parents and educators, as well as law enforcement authorities, to curtail the use of BB-guns.

“They seem innocent, but the results can be very dangerous.

They are not games and not safe,” the doctors said.

04.08.2013 – Chance encounter reunites Moldovans


Elderly patient and volunteer at Kaplan Medical Center realize on Remembrance Day they grew up in the same part of Moldova.

Hospital bed
Hospital bed Photo: Wikicommons

A 101-year-old patient at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and a 92-year-old volunteer in the orthopedics department who met on Sunday, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, realized that they both grew up in the same place in Moldova before the Holocaust.

Lisa Lingo, an outstanding volunteer at the hospital, has been giving emotional support to patients for the past 27 years.

She was assisting Sarah Vingizack – an engineer in her younger days – cope with temporary disability after falling, fracturing her hip and undergoing joint replacement surgery.

While conversing about their past they were moved to find out that they both were raised close by in the same part of Moldova. When the Nazis captured the area, both fled to survive.

The two elderly women agreed that the secret of life after they survived the Holocaust was “work and correct breathing.”

Vingizack said she went to live in the Ukraine as an adult and worked as an engineer at the Odessa Technical College.

When the Germans invaded, she fled with her son Gennady to Uzbekistan, and both escaped their clutches. She returned to Moldova after the war and came on aliya in 1994.

Following her successful surgery, she will undergo rehabilitation at Kaplan.

Lingo was born and raised in Kishinev. When the Nazis arrived, they set up a labor camp where she was taken at the age of 17.

“I survived the camp by dragging stones for building the railway, having to do very hard physical work and while surrounded by infectious illness.

“God wanted me to get out of there alive, and after I settled in Israel, I started to work in Kaplan and remained an orthopedics department volunteer for another 27 years,” Lingo said.

The hospital staff were moved by the encounter in which the two survivors hugged like sisters.

04.05.2013 – Passing pediatrician delivers baby outside entrance


Doctor on the way to lecture delivers baby of woman found in labor in Rehovot hospital public bathroom.

NEW MOTHER Rotem Bar (left) and Dr. Hanni Olivestone pose with the newborn at Kaplan Medical Center
NEW MOTHER Rotem Bar (left) and Dr. Hanni Olivestone pose with the newborn at Kaplan Medical Center Photo: Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center

A pediatrician passing by the public women’s bathroom near the main entrance to Kaplan Medical Center this week heard a woman moaning, found that she was in the last stage of labor, and delivered the baby while taking her to the emergency ward in a wheelchair.The unusual event happened when Dr. Hanni Olivestone, who treats sick and injured children in her department, was on the way to deliver a lecture to medical students on pediatric medical examinations. The new mother, Rotem Bar, was only in her 37th week of pregnancy when she visited the Rehovot hospital. When she went to the bathroom, she suddenly felt she was about to give birth.
“I felt strong contractions, and I started to shout. When the doctor heard me, she immediately came to help,” Bar said. “I felt I was in good hands.”Olivestone recalled, “I ran into the bathroom and immediately knew the woman was in advanced labor. I put her in a wheelchair to take her to the delivery room, but at the entrance to the elevator, the baby’s head started to come out. I delivered the baby while moving, and when we reached the emergency room, a midwife named Avivit and I completed the procedure.”The result was a healthy baby boy weighing 3 kilos.

“Even though I am an expert in treating children, this was the first baby I delivered, and there is no doubt that the experience was very moving for me,” added the doctor, who was invited to the brit mila as a guest of honor.

03.07.2013 – Female staffers mark Int’l Women’s Day at Kaplan


All staffers from physicians and nurses to paramedical workers are women at Rehovot hospital’s emergency department.

ZOHAR KATUA smiles between female medical staffers at the Rehovot hospital yesterday.
ZOHAR KATUA smiles between female medical staffers at the Rehovot hospital yesterday.
Photo: Kaplan Medical Center

Although women’s representation in medical schools has reached 50 percent, hospital staff is still mostly men. But at Kaplan Medical Center’s emergency department in Rehovot, all the staffers from physicians and nurses to paramedical workers, nursing students and medical clowns were female on Wednesday.The unusual scene was held to honor International Women’s Day, which will be marked on Friday.

The emergency room patients were surprised in the morning to see only women in white. The aim was to illustrate the empowerment of women in the medical field. Throughout the morning, patients of both sexes were presented with pink flowers, and staff members wore on their shirts not only a name tag but also their position, medical specialty, family status, how many children they have and their hobbies to make them seem less anonymous.Dr. Yael Dina’i, head of the emergency room, said the idea resulted from the process of women’s empowerment in healthcare. The patients, she added, learned of information on the team’s lives that usually are hidden. Dina’i stated on her name tag that she likes to hike, while the department’s nursing director Dvora Luzon said she works out regularly.

Patient Zohar Katua, a resident of Ness Ziona, saw the unusual sights and smiled at the doctor and nurse who examined him. “One can’t manage without women,” he said.


03.05.2013 – Baptist pledges life insurance pay to Kaplan Hospital


Volunteer pledges that upon his passing, his life insurance money would be used to purchase advanced medical equipment for the hospital.

CLAUDE JEWETT poses with a nurse, patients
CLAUDE JEWETT poses with a nurse, patients Photo: (Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center)

A 66-year-old Protestant from Midland, Texas, who is voluntarily renovating the pediatric pavilion at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, surprised management on Monday with yet another gift.
Claude Jewett pledged that upon his passing, his life insurance money would be used to purchase advanced medical equipment for the hospital.

Jewett, a father of seven who recently retired from years as a US Air Force mechanic, is in the country for three weeks as part of the Friends of Israel organization together with 30 other Christian volunteers from the United States and Australia.

The Baptist, who raises money for Israel among members of his Bellevue Baptist Church, is now on his second visit to the country to work at the hospital and meet the children in the pediatrics ward. Jewett said all his children were pleased with his decision to donate posthumously to the hospital.

Prof. Etti Granot, head of Kaplan’s pediatrics division, said Jewett’s was a noble act, and he wished him good health and a long life.

Hospital director Prof. Ya’acov Yahav said the Christians’ voluntary work at the hospital warmed the heart of his medical team.

“There is no doubt that you serve as a personal example for the staffers and the patients at the hospital,” he said.

02.11.2013 – Rehovot doctors save eight-year-old’s sight


A mechanical lead pencil tossed playfully by a schoolgirl at an eight-year-old Rehovot girl during class nearly cost the child her sight.

Linoy Gathan
Linoy Gathan Photo: Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center

A mechanical lead pencil tossed playfully by a schoolgirl at an eight-year-old Rehovot girl during class nearly cost the child her sight, which was saved in an emergency operation at Kaplan Medical Center.Linoy Gathon, who was injured two weeks ago and is now recovering, recalled Sunday that she had passed a pencil to a schoolmate at her table, and that the girl had thrown back an eraser in exchange. A third girl, a few meters away, thought it was a game and threw her mechanical pencil at Gathon.Its graphite point broke off and entered the cornea of her right eye, and it was so painful that she couldn’t open it.Gathon was rushed from the Yavne’eli School to the Rehovot hospital. She underwent an emergency operation performed by doctors Arye Markovitz and Yohai Shoshani, who removed a piece of lead from deep inside her cornea and stitched the hole closed.

The girl was hospitalized for a few days, during which she was given antibiotics to prevent infection. At a checkup at Kaplan on Sunday Gathon was told that her eyeball had suffered no permanent damage.

She said that while she was hospitalized, everyone in the school talked about the incident, and the teachers led discussions on accident prevention.

The ophthalmology team called on parents to educate their children about the dangers inherent in the use of pencils, both mechanical and standard.

“In Lenoy’s case, she was very lucky… it even was a miracle, because the graphite pierced the edge of her eye and not the center.

She could have lost her sight,” the doctors said.