Kazakh CP patient 390.
(photo credit: Assaf Harofeh Medical Center)
A gifted 12-year-old boy from Kazakhstan whose cerebral palsy (CP) prevented him
from walking independently has had a successful operation and is undergoing
extensive rehabilitation at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tzrifin – at the
hospital’s and the Foreign Ministry’s expense.
Pavel (Pasha) Sadyshev and
his mother have been staying free at the state hospital’s minihotel since early
January so he could undergo the surgery and the physical therapy for his severe
His CP caused him to walk with difficulty on tiptoes
beginning in his toddler years, while using crutches frequently caused him to
tip over. His muscles and ligaments had shortened and stiffened in recent years,
making his situation progressively worse.
As the parents of the only
child are unemployed, they could not afford the surgery, rehabilitation,
accommodations and travel expenses. Since Pavel’s case was unusual, the
government and hospital director-general Dr. Benny Davidson agreed to
foot the medical bills.
The family, who live in a small town near Astana,
were blessed by the fact that last September, Dr. Simona Bar Haim, Assaf
Harofeh’s veteran physiotherapist and neurophysiology researcher, had been
invited to Kazakhstan for the second time to lecture on her experience in the
During her visit to Astana’s Republican Children’s Rehabilitation
Center, Bar Haim met a number of children, including Pavel, who desperately
needed help. Israel’s ambassador to Kazakhstan Israel Mei-Ami, and his wife
Ayala, asked the senior physiotherapist to examine him. After doing so, she
predicted that with surgery and treatment in Assaf Harofeh, the boy would be
able to walk like Israeli children born with CP that developed just before or
The Israeli embassy, in cooperation with Eximbank
Kazakhstan and Turkish Airlines, arranged a flight for Pavel and his
After examination by Dr. Lionel Copeliovitch, director of
orthopedics at the Tzrifin hospital, the operation was performed five weeks ago.
The plaster casts were removed from his legs recently, allowing him to undergo
rehabilitation on a daily basis and then return to the hospital hotel. He will
need another month of this rehabilitation, said Bar Haim.
“He is very
intelligent,” Copeliovitch told The Jerusalem Post. “He suffered no mental
disability as a result of his birth disorder, only CP. He speaks Russian and has
learned some words in Hebrew. His pain from before and after the operation is
receding. Pavel and his mother are so, so grateful for his treatment
The doctor said his hospital performs a few dozen such procedures
on Israeli children each year, most of whom are between the ages of five and
Bar Haim added that her hospital is recognized worldwide for its
expertise in the field, which began with its treatment of child victims of the
polio epidemic in the 1950s.
Many Kazakh citizens with CP go untreated
because of the country’s lack of knowhow in the field.
As Kazakhstan is
landlocked, Bar Haim took the boy to the sea for the first time in his
In addition, he was provided with a laptop computer so he could
communicate with his father and other relatives via Skype.