Friday, March 13, 2009

Gapey is helping me help others. Who'd a thunk...

The meeting in Arad with the Sudanese women was amazing. They are so strong, beautiful and resilient. They are a very special community, with a self-made community center and self government (with a court system in place as well). They don't have rights like a regular citizen because their status of refugee isn't recognized fully. They fled from genocide and rape, and were accepted here, but not fully. Many of them are employed in the Dead Sea hotels (housekeeping), the only places that can employ foreign workers. They are exploited with regard to pay, rights, and insurance. Many of them have no medical insurance, and have no prenatal care or vitamins whatsoever. We are there to bring vitamins, talk to them about the system and what to expect giving birth in a hospital. One pregnant woman told us that her last baby was born in Egypt, en route to Israel on foot, with the mother unattended. She did her birth alone. She didn't want to wake the doctor. These women are incredible.

There was one woman who came who wasn't pregnant, but she looked pregnant. It was when we asked her about her due date that she told us she's not pregnant. She has a serious medical condition she needs help with, and that's why she came to us. She lifted her shirt to show us a shocking surgical mess. She told us of her pancriatitis, and being in a coma for three months. The doctors (in *Ichilov*) patched her up as well as they could with the circumstances of no insurance and no money. She has a skin graft covering over exposed, bulging stomach organs with her own fascia and skin surrounding it. There I was to hug her, and tell her I also have a skin graft on my belly, and I had also been very sick, and I can talk with her and hopefully help. I wound up showing her my gapey, like she had shared with me her private hell. Can you believe it? This is the reason I'm there.

Her graft is oozing clear fluid, and I see the problems, and what care she needs. She has pain all the time, and cannot work. Taking care of her other children is a true hardship, as she has no help. Her husband works 12 hours a day at the Dead Sea.

I will talk to my scar management doctor in Soroka and get her in treatment for these difficulties. She needs a small surgical closure where it is oozing, and she needs silicon sheathes and a pressure garment for her pain and scar maturation. COHI (Circle Of Life International), the organization who launched this, and many other such projects, will find funding to help her. I know exactly what she needs, and how to help her physically & emotionally. Nobody else there is cut out for that; only me. Amazing, isn't it.

Our Maker in the Heavens has a very specific, but mysterious plan. Just go with it and see what happens next. :-)


  1. I haven't read your blog for a few days and come back to read three long entries. Sounds like things are really happening for you and how great that your experiences allow you to help others who are very vulnerable in the system. You are doing great things. Keep it up and also take care of yourself.

  2. Wow, talk about paying it forward!!

    That is so increadible!! Kol HaKavod!!

    Obviously, we would rather not have these experiences, but we have had them, so if we can use them to help others, at least we have that!