An inspiring woman with ‘Up syndrome’

Efrat Dotan – a woman in her late 20s born to modern Orthodox parents in Jerusalem – is a inspiring example of the power of the human spirit.

March 27, 2011 02:53
1 minute read.
EFRAT DOTAN and Prof. Simcha Yagel

efrat dotan down syndrome 311. (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)


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Efrat Dotan – a woman in her late 20s born to modern Orthodox parents in Jerusalem who refused to abort her after learning she had Down syndrome – is a inspiring example of the power of the human spirit.

Petite, lovely and very bright, Dotan lives with her parents and three other siblings in the capital’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood.

As an amateur journalist, Dotan has interviewed Israeli physicians, fashion models, the president of Israel and other politicians – and is due to go to Washington, DC to interview more notable political personalities.

Shalva, the association for mentally and physically challenged children (whose center in Jerusalem is named after Nachshon Wachsman, the soldier kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 1994), has subsidized the journalistic work of Dotan, who appears on the Hebrew-language edition of Ynet on the Internet.

Shalva is headed by Rabbi Kalman Samuels and his wife Malki, who have a 34- year-old son who was born without disabilities – but in a rare accident caused by an improper vaccine, went blind and deaf, and rendered unable to function normally.

Dotan, who makes her primary living working with Down syndrome babies up to the age of three at Shalva in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, says she was “born very positive.”

Recently, Dotan conducted a particularly meaningful interview with Prof. Simcha Yagel, a veteran obstetrician at Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus. In 1983, Yagel, a world-famous fetal imaging expert, delivered Dotan after her parents refused to abort their affected fetus.

“It should not be Down syndrome but ‘Up syndrome,’” Dotan said, as her mother looked on and beamed.

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