Yaara from Gaza was transferred to Israel for medical treatment after she was injured in a car accident in the strip. Three months later she has managed to surprise hospital staff at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon by starting to walk just a few days after she was given a prosthetic leg.
Now released from the hospital, Yaara can walk and even learned Hebrew during her time in the Israeli hospital. Back in Gaza, Yaara was reunited with her parents for the first time since she left to get treatment in Israel.
The accident happened three months ago, near the young girl’s home in the Tuffah district in Gaza City. Yaara and 15 other children had been playing near a main road when a truck that passed by did not notice the children and ran into Yaara.
Within minutes, she was taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza where she underwent several operations. When the doctors were unable to mend her leg they amputated it, which led to a state of necrosis – worsening her condition.
The hospital in Gaza did not have the means to take care of Yaara which led her parents to request the Hamas authority to give her permission to get medical care in Israel.
After a long wait, and many objections, Hamas finally gave their permission to transfer to Yaara to Israel, but her parents were told they would have to wait in Gaza. Instead, Hamas allowed the young girl’s cousin to accompany her.
Yaara was transferred to the Barzilai Medical Center and was treated by Dr. Michael Varshavsky, who specializes in orthopedic rehabilitation. The necrosis was stopped and Yaara’s condition improved.
The young girl then underwent rehabilitation and given a prosthetic leg. During her stay in Israel, Yaara’s cousin stayed by her side in the hospital.
During her last days in the hospital, the medical staff decided to fit the prosthetic leg and examine how Yaara would respond. To their surprise, Yaara got down from the bed, put down both of her feet on the ground, clung to her cousin but then began to hesitate to take more steps.
“I don’t want to. I’m going to fall,” she said to her cousin.
“You can do it, come on,” said her cousin in response. “Step after step, you’ll get used to it, it will be okay. Your mom is waiting on the other side of the border and won’t stop crying. Prove to her you can do it,” said her cousin.
Yaara finally mustered the courage and began to take a few steps, a bit wobbly at first, but a smile began to spread on her face and she began to walk with more excitement.
Doctors and nurses cheered her on as she made her first steps and even succeeded going up and down a step. After the hospital staff released her, Yaara and her cousin gathered their things and returned to Gaza.
“For us this was humanitarian aid. We got very close to the girl and her family. We let her cousin stay with her at the hospital and even let him eat in the staff lunchroom, like a member of the hospital staff,” said the head of the Barzilai Medical Center, Dr. Hezi Levy.