Shuvu Student Rocket Victim Discharged from Hospital


orielOrel Elazarov, the seven-year-old Be’er Sheva boy who was close to death with shrapnel wounds to the brain from a Grad rocket explosion during Operation ‘Cast Lead,’ left the juvenile intensive care ward at Be’er Sheva’s Soroka hospital yesterday for rehabilitation at a medical institution in Yerushalayim. He has miraculously regained consciousness and even made simple movements with his hand and foot.

At a news conference in the intensive care unit, Professor Shaul Sofer, who heads the unit, recalled the three operations that Orel underwent when he was brought to the hospital with massive hemorrhaging, noting that the staff used the most advanced medical procedures available, as well as some unconventional methods, and was optimistic about the boy’s chances for recovery.

“I have a new lease on life to accompany my strong son for a speedy recovery,” said Orel’s mother, Angela, who has worked as a nurse in the emergency ward at Soroka for the past 14 years. With tears of joy, Angela expressed her gratitude towards the medical staff and Klal Yisroel for their tefillos on behalf of Orel. “Only at times like these, do we see just how many warm people there are among the Jewish Nation who have helped us continue functioning. Again, words cannot express my thanks to the doctors. I can’t forget that Professor Sofer came during the weekend, and was constantly besides my son’s bedside.”

The mother acknowledged the fact that her being a nurse helped her during the first minutes after the attack. “The moment that I saw my son, I did not lose my senses and ability, and with level-headedness, I put him on my shoulders in order to arrive as quickly as possible to the hospital,” Angela added.

Orel’s father, Aviel, also thanked the medical staff, along with his employers at the Nature and Parks Authority who accompanied him throughout the family’s difficult period. He noted how he did not properly value his wife until this critical moment. “I am at a loss for words to thank my wife, who was the first to save our son.”

How Orel Got Hit

During Israel’s three-week action in the Gaza Strip, miraculously, no school child was killed or injured by any of those missiles, and only one student, Orel, a second grader in Shuvu’s Beer Sheva school, got injured.

Orel was hit just two days before a ceasefire went into effect. After nearly three weeks cooped-up at home, he had asked his mother to take him out for some air. As they were driving, a warning siren sounded, and mother and son evacuated the car as they had been instructed to do and lay flat on the ground. They heard a boom indicating that the rocket had landed, and began to stand up, when there was suddenly a secondary explosion. A piece of shrapnel from that explosion pierced Orel’s skull and entered his brain.

His mother Angela, a nurse in Siroka Hospital, immediately realized that Orel’s only chance of survival lay in an immediate operation. 

Orel’s parents waited eleven years for him and endured many years of treatments. He is their only child, and as such has had a particularly strong influence on the family. Since Orel started studying in a Shuvu school, he has had an immense impact on his family. Shabbos has been marked by the lighting of candles and a special meal. His father had already begun to put on tefillin, and since Orel was struck has been doing so every day.
All are asked to continue davening for the complete recovery of Orel ben Angela Yagut.

{Yair Israel}