Thirteen-year-old Ariel Yered, whose brain was nearly split in two in a mortar attack when he was only 15 months old, on Monday celebrated his bar mitzva with his family at Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital, the place where he was treated after his near-death experience.

At the event at Alyn, Yered, his parents Lia and Yossi Yered and his four siblings thanked the staffers for their work and showed them a film of his life since birth, including the attack and his long stay in the hospital. The family then visited the Western Wall, where they celebrated both Yered’s bar mitzva and his miraculous recovery. His functioning is almost completely normal, thanks to his rehabilitation.

During the second intifada, shrapnel from a mortar in Atzmona, where the family lived at the time, severely wounded Yered in his head and body. The baby was taken to Soroka University Medical Center without a pulse and not breathing. One piece of shrapnel cut his brain in half from left to right and caused severe hemorrhaging that pressed on his brain cells. The doctors were doubtful that he would survive or, if he did, feared that he could be a “vegetable” for the rest of his life.

Yered arrived at Alyn only three weeks later. He was unable to communicate and could not even identify his parents. But thanks to the devoted staff’s efforts, his condition improved. He underwent intensive physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy and communications therapy. Although eventually discharged, Yered even today still goes to the hospital for rehabilitation.

As a sign of his successful treatment and return to normal life, Yered and his family told the Alyn professionals that he rides a bicycle, reads the Torah and plays soccer.

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