COVID-19 in Israel: 11-year-old hospitalized in ICU after catching virus

Liel Dubinsky told The Jerusalem Post, “Go get vaccinated. This is not a game.”

11-year-old Liel Dubinsky (photo credit: Courtesy)
11-year-old Liel Dubinsky
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Eleven-year-old Liel Dubinsky is calling on people to “go get vaccinated.”
“This is not a game,” she told The Jerusalem Post from her hospital bed in the intensive-care unit at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
Liel, a resident of Ramle, was diagnosed with coronavirus about a week ago. On Friday, her situation started to deteriorate, and she went to her doctor, who prescribed a home oxygen tank. But at around 3 a.m. on Friday night, her situation became acute.
“I heard her from the other room calling out, ‘Daddy, help me, I am suffocating, I cannot breathe,’” was how her father, Roey, described the scene.
He quickly realized he could not manage the situation at home and called an ambulance, he told the Post. His daughter was immediately ventilated and has been ever since. According to Kaplan, she was admitted to the ICU suffering from coronavirus-induced pneumonia.
Before contracting the virus, Liel had no underlying medical conditions. Dubinsky said his wife and father also caught the virus.
As of Monday, she was one of nine children under the age of 19 hospitalized with COVID-19.
According to Dubinsky, Liel’s situation has already begun to improve. She is receiving less oxygen and breathing better on her own – so much so that she could speak to the Post. The hospital performed an X-ray Monday morning, and things are looking “very positive,” he said.
Dr. Eli Shapiro, director of pediatric intensive care at Kaplan, confirmed the situation and said she is receiving noninvasive ventilation.
“The unit staff is providing her with dedicated care,” he said.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 245,000 children and teenagers have contracted coronavirus. However, in this third wave, the British variant has struck many more children and left them in serious condition.
The situation has worried health officials, as children have begun to return to school in green, yellow and light-orange areas. So far, preschoolers, kindergarteners and students in grades 1-6 and 11-12 have returned to their classrooms at least for part of the week.
“It’s important to understand that there is a pandemic,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday night. “There is a British mutation that strikes young people; we still do not know its effect. Although many children will return to school, we are doing it gradually.”
Dubinsky said he had a message similar to his daughter’s.
“Don’t be afraid,” he told the Post. “Go get vaccinated. It is important for you, your children and for everyone around you – for everyone who loves you and everyone you love.”