It’s a ‘Wow’

Updated: May 8

“At Assuta Ashdod, our job is to take care of kids in medical danger, but really, we care for and about people. All people,”

smiles Dr. Noa Rosenfeld, Head of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Assuta Ashdod.


Not long ago, an 8-year-old girl (“Rivka”) who was deaf and mute and dependent exclusively on IV nutrition arrived at the hospital with an infection. Her family life was complicated and while her mother loved her, she could not care for her. Rivka came to Assuta Ashdod directly from her placement home, and the medical staff on duty deduced that Rivka was mentally retarded. The placement home informed them that Rivka was out of control and reported that no other hospital would admit her.


Dr. Rosenfeld accepted her.


But, the doctor immediately began to second guess her decision. “Rivka had something very sweet about her, but indeed her behavior was challenging.”


And then, one simple incident occurred.


Rivka communicated.


Rivka’s nurse saw that Rivka was trying desperately to communicate something, and she soon happily realized that Rivka was asking for a clementine! The staff understood then that Rivka could communicate and that her cognitive skills were higher than they thought. They hired someone to teach her sign language and fitted her with hearing aids.


More and more people became drawn to Rivka and volunteered to take care of her in the hospital. The medical clowns adored her, and by the time they celebrated her ninth birthday together at the hospital, everyone at Assuta Ashdod loved Rivka.





The Assuta Ashdod staff proactively discussed Rivka’s situation with several professionals at the Ministry of Education, and even found a new school for her. When it was time for Rivka to move to a new foster family, the Assuta Ashdod staff also made a solid connection with her new family and helped them to understand her, so they could come to love Rivka too.


“This story really connected me to Assuta Ashdod”, summarized Dr. Rosenfeld. “In fact, we continue to receive photos and updates about Rivka. And now, Rivka has finally returned to live with her mother! We have what to be proud of.”