Quadriplegic may have to leave Israel

World's oldest was not allowed three caregivers.

May 13, 2010 02:05
2 minute read.
world's oldest quadriplegic

quadriplegic 311. (photo credit: ruth eglash)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The world’s oldest living quadriplegic, Zimbabwean immigrant Rosemary Levin, is in the midst of a legal battle with the Interior Ministry to allow her longtime helper, a Zimbabwean national, to enter Israel to care for her, The Jerusalem Post learned on Wednesday.

According to Levin, 79, who has spent five decades in a wheelchair after breaking her spine in a road accident, two of her three full-time workers have been granted permanent work visas, but due to the demanding nature of the care, Levin must also employ a third helper to act as a relief worker, enabling each of the other two to return home to Africa for a few months a year.

After three years in which the third worker was allowed entry with no problem, “I was informed earlier this year that the work permit for the third worker would not be granted,” said Levin, who spent most of her life living in the African bush with her gold-mining husband and now lives in Zichron Ya’acov.

“They won’t let my third lady come in to work, and unless she comes into the country I can’t let the others leave me.”

She continued: “I am in a peculiar and very difficult situation and although I don’t like to take advantage, I am a very disabled woman who needs constant helpers with me to take care of me.

“I don’t want to be put in a position where I am forced to leave Israel and return to Africa because my care worker cannot come in and help me,” added Levin, who made aliya three years ago after her husband died.

Last September, Levin was recognized as the world’s oldest living quadriplegic by the Guinness Book of World Records after spending the past 50 years in a wheelchair. She was 28 and seven months pregnant with her third child on June 5, 1959, when the car she was traveling in with her family collided with another car.

Although she managed to carry her baby to term, Levin suffered a complete spinal lesion and was left without use of her arms and legs.

“The Interior Ministry keeps asking me why I can’t use one of the thousands of foreign workers already here in Israel; I tell them that I am too old and set in my ways to try new things,” Levin explained. “These three women have been working with me for a long time; they know me and know all my peculiar ways. It’s too late for me to change.”

After appealing to the Interior Ministry to reconsider her case as a humanitarian gesture, Levin wrote to President Shimon Peres asking if he could step in. The president’s Department of Public Complaints has referred Levin’s case to the Interior Ministry office in Hadera.

“I have already visited the office in Hadera and they did not give me an outright no,” said Levin, hopefully.

“However, it could be another two or three months before they decide on my case. I just hope they decide in my favor, because I would just hate to have to leave Israel.”
The Interior Ministry did not respond by press time.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town


Cookie Settings