Days 1 & 2
As interns, on day one we were first introduced to Reuth’s holistic approach to recovery. On day 2 we were able to clearly see this in action as we watched the interactions between the staff and patients. One moment that stands out was witnessing the huge amount of love and care showered upon Avel, a six-year old, in the children’s ward. Can’t wait to see the interactions and support given to other patients.
Today, Sophie and I actually began volunteering. We transferred patients to and from their rooms. Effie visited and introduced us to some patients she often visits and dodes. We met Shula and sang songs with her and we met Shachar in the children’s ward, who communicated as best as he could when Effie spoke to him. Seeing these patients in this condition is heartbreaking, but, also seeing the love and devotion that individuals give to them is amazing.
We joined the school’s children and their families at the park for a day out of the hospital. There was amazing food, games and music. It was so nice to see so much of the staff help put this together and bring smiles to so many faces.
Sophie and I also got to work in the Pain Clinic for a day shadowing Dr. Reuveni while he performed a dry needling procedure on a patient with TMJ and walked us through what he was doing. We also spent a day in the occupational therapy ward and watched while a cognitive test was performed on a patient. It was interesting to see the different types of tests being done on memory and recognition, but also emotional to watch. The tester told us that the patient has made great improvements since he arrived which shows how what might seem like a small accomplishment is really a great victory.
Today, Sophie and I spent another day with the children and participated in some group work singing songs and playing assorted instruments. Although some of the children have very little brain function, the staff at Reuth works very hard to do whatever they can to stimulate them in case they are aware. We met many children and heard their stories. We watched the staff work with plants, sounds, touch, and animals in order to elicit a reaction out of the patients. It was very moving to see the relationships that many of the staff have with the children and the time and energy they put in. We feel so blessed to have met Shachar and to have spent time with him.
Living in Israel
We have been to Israel many times and have lived here for a year so we knew what to expect but it has been really amazing to live in Tel Aviv and be locals for the summer. We even became friends with a few of the overseas volunteers at Reuth. Emily has been a great friend and helped us adjust to Reuth as soon as we arrived. It has been a great experience being able to talk and hang out with other volunteers.