In April 2018 Israel held its breath: celebrity Tsvika Pick (70), one of the most gifted musicians of his generation, had suffered a stroke during a flight from London to Tel Aviv. Rushed to a hospital in Vienna after an emergency landing, he soon realized that even though his mind remained quite lucid, he had lost the faculties of talking and walking.
Two weeks later Tsvika arrived at Reuth. “My mouth just refused to pronounce the words. It was all gone, just like that,” says the seasoned singer and master songwriter. “I could say only two words: Yes and no. It was frightening. I didn’t know whether I would ever speak again. I had to relearn the entire Hebrew language, right from the start.”
The expert who helped him through the process was Dr. Avia Gvion, Head of Reuth’s Communication Disorders Unit. Word by word, in laborious four-hour sessions five times a week, she taught him how to speak again. “When I first met Tsvika I wasn’t very optimistic,” she says. “He wanted to know if he would ever sing again, but I couldn’t promise anything.” But applying a newfound strength, Tsvika worked very hard and progressed persistently. “The number of words I could say doubled every day. It made me very happy,” he recalls.
After two months in hospital he went home, continuing daily treatments at Reuth’s Day Rehabilitation Center. Finally, in December 2019, at the Festigal, Israel’s popular Hanukkah Children’s Festival, a whole country watched with a mix of relief and delight as the beloved performer appeared on stage for the first time since the stroke. Tsvika Pick is back!