BAT EL and Sagi with their newborn baby and guide dog, Neon, at the Kaplan Medical Center..
(photo credit: KAPLAN MEDICAL CENTER)
Neon, a golden Labrador mixedbreed dog, goes everywhere with his owners Bat El and Sagi Asayag.
This time he accompanied them to the delivery room at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, where the vision-impaired couple had their first baby.
Bat El herself was born in Kaplan weighing only 700 grams and had minuscule chances of survival. But she was treated for six months in its neonatal intensive care unit and did well enough to grow up and marry. Now she came back to the same hospital that saved her life.
Dr. Roni Levy, director of the hospital’s obstetrics department, said on Sunday: “This is the first time in my 25 years of work in a delivery room, after tens of thousands of births, during which a dog was present. We were very moved when they showed the baby to the dog.
He created great excitement among the medical staff.”
Bat El, 28, and Sagi, 27, who live in Ashdod, did not believe when they came for a routine examination during her pregnancy two months ago that she would have to stay there until the birth of their first son. They were accompanied by Neon.
The delivery room team arranged for a large room and observed all the rules of cleanliness and sterility.
During the premature delivery, Neon looked on as Bat El gave birth to the Asayags’ first son, who has been named Ariel Yosef, weighing 2.5 kg.
Bat El, who completed her bachelor’s degree in education and plans to work as a teacher, and Sagi, who is a social worker, met when they were students at Ashkelon Academic College.
“We went through the whole process of pregnancy at Kaplan Medical Center because this is our family hospital, where a medical miracle happened, and they saved my life,” she recalled. “We recently arrived at Kaplan for a routine checkup with Neon, and we were told that I was in the process of giving birth.”
Although part of the time he was taken outside and tended by a nurse, Neon was allowed to stay in a corner of the delivery room and watch the delivery. After the baby was born, doctors allowed him to smell the baby. The delivery room underwent a process of sterilization according to the exact instructions of an infectious disease specialist.
Bat El was moved to a ward room with a balcony where Neon stayed, waiting for the couple’s instructions.
The four-year-old dog was trained at the guide dog school at Moshe Beit Oved.
“By the time Neon came into our lives, I was helped by a walking stick, and now he is so helpful to us in our daily lives and greatly shortens the time of arrival anywhere because he knows exactly where we are going,” said Sagi. “Now we are a family as Ariel entered our lives, and we will continue to give warmth and love to both our son and Neon,” he concluded.