A five-year-old boy from Siberia who suffers from cerebral palsy and never
walked has learned to do so after four days of rehabilitation at Jerusalem’s
He may now for the first time attend preschool.
this part of Russia, according to experts at the pediatric and adolescent
rehabilitation center, children who are not mobile before school-age have to
remain at home with their mothers rather than get out of the house, learn and
play with others.
Igor, one of six CP children who arrived this week in
Jerusalem with their mothers as part of the first-ever group of Russian children
aged two to six who have come to Alyn for physical rehabilitation, made his
first steps after receiving a special walker and undergoing physiotherapy and
His mother, Natalya, said she can’t stop crying
“I didn’t know he was capable of this. He’s a good boy and is
trying very hard. I am happy that he has managed to make the best of his
abilities and start walking on his own,” she said on Thursday.
potential was there, but he was never able to benefit from the know-how and
suitable equipment at Alyn that would make him able to
Physiotherapist Nurit Stern said Igor crawled around his home in
Siberia and had great difficulty moving his fingers and hands. After teaching
him to move his limbs, which he had not used despite his potential, he was
fitted with a walker and taught to get around by himself.
government is paying for the rehabilitation of the 50 children who will arrive
in groups during the rest of this year. Alyn has an excellent reputation for its
work with physically disabled children.
The government in Siberia chose
the Jerusalem hospital, in addition to one in Germany, to assess the children’s
problems and get them up on their feet. After five days of assessment at Alyn,
the children are given suitable equipment and rehabilitated.
Beeri, who this week succeeded Dr. Shirley Meyer as Alyn director-general after
more than 25 years, said the hospital regards with much importance its efforts
to rehabilitate children from all over the world. Working with them does not
come at the expense of the many Israeli children living at, or nearby, and being
treated at the institution.“We are proud that we were chosen because of our
expertise,” she said.
Beeri asked Russian speakers who want to volunteer
to contact the hospital and help out by communicating with the children and
mothers and to participate in social activities in the afternoons. Those who are
interested should call Dorit Zilberstein at (02) 649- 4330. Russian-language
books and videos suitable for young children will also be very welcome.
year ago, Alyn specialists did the same for children from Haiti who had been
seriously injured and disabled in January 12’s Haitian earthquake.
a pediatrician who also has a master’s degree in public administration from the
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, has been working at Alyn for 12 years
and has run the day hospital.
She praised Meyer for her great
contribution to the hospital and noted that the outgoing director-general will
continue to work with children there.