In this blog we hear the personal stories of our fabulous group.
You have read about the 5 day respite trip to London enjoyed by our very special group of parents and wives of critically injured sons and husbands . Now read the personal stories behind the faces, this shows why we at One Family bring groups of victims of terror in Israel to London throughout the year for a change of scene, this enables them to return to Israel refreshed and able to face whatever they are presented with. One Family is there to support them throughout the year.
On March 27,2002, Korin’s husband Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42, of Netanya, was one of 30 people killed in a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in the coastal city of Netanya, in the midst of the Passover holiday seder. On the eve of Passover, the terrorist walked into the dining room of the hotel, located in the center of Netanya, where 250 guests had just sat down to begin the seder. He detonated an explosive device, killing 22 immediately and injuring 140, eight of whom subsequently died.
The bomber was identified as a member of the Hamas Iz a Din al-Kassam Brigades, from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, which is just 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Netanya. Shimon BenAroya, was at the Park Hotel to celebrate the Passover Seder together with many members of his family. Shimon worked over 20 years for the municipality of Netanya, 15 of them in the Sanitation Department.
Korin was seriously injured in the explosion. Their three children were also injured, as were Korin’s parents, Gabi and Rachel Shimla, her brother Eli Shimla, his wife Sigalit and their four children – the youngest, Gabriel, 5 – were seriously injured.
Nava & Adi Bar-El
Nava and Adi’s son, Amit was a soldier fighting house-to-house during the 2006 Lebanon War. As he rushed to the aid of a wounded comrade, Amit opened a door only to have a rocket fly past and explode in the wall next to him. Following the explosion, Amit received multiple shrapnel wounds. One piece entered his head from below his left ear and exited his forehead, causing him to become blind and paralysed the right side of his body. It took more than a year of physical therapy before the 35-year-old father of two young daughters was finally ready to leave the hospital and return home to continue his rehabilitation. Amit uses a guide dog to help him.
This is her personal story – On 31 July 2014, Nicole’s son Ophir was injured in Operation Protective Edge and suffered serious head injuries. Ophir was flown to Hadassah Ein Kerem, and underwent several Neurosurgeries. Ophir was unconscious and then sedated and in intensive care for six months and then moved to the rehabilitation in Beit Levenstein for a year and a half. Despite intensive medical care and rehabilitation, he has not made a full return to normal.
Ophir needs 24-hour care. When he was released from the rehabilitation centre, he moved into his mother’s rented house in Kfar Yona (his parents divorced a few years and they are not in touch). Following the severe injury of Ophir, Nicole takes full care of him! She receives no financial support from his father. Nicole is trained as an alternative therapist but is unable to work as she now focuses her energies on her son’s needs. She accompanies him to his rehabilitation at Beit Levinstein in Rananna on a daily basis.
Ophir is now out of hospital and lives in an apartment in Kfar Yona, a ten minute drive from Nicole. His apartment has been made suitable for his special needs. Ophir has three care givers who help him and take turns in shifts to care for him. Nicole is in a difficult emotional and financial situation.
Nicole comes every week to the Ra’anana house where she gets alternative treatment, a meeting with a psychologist and takes part in the therapeutic art workshops. Also, One Family coordinator Nava, goes with Nicole and visit the Ophir in his house every week.
Read the last three stories of our very special group of parents and wives of critically injured sons and husbands who visited London last week for a respite trip.
These explain why we at One Family bring groups of victims of terror in Israel to London throughout the year for a change of scene, enabling them to return to Israel refreshed and able to face the future.
Rachel & Avishai Levin
Yonatan Levin, 29, served as a deputy company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade. Yonatan studied history and political science at Tel Aviv University and served as a reserve duty soldier in the Second Lebanon war, at the age of 25. On 10 August 2006, he was seriously injured, sustaining serious head and leg injuries from a mortar that landed near him in south Lebanon. He was taken by helicopter to Rambam in serious to critical condition. He suffered massive head trauma, with bleeding that led to a massive brain hemorrhage which caused extensive damage and he was pronounced brain dead. Yonatan faced 20-30 surgeries and spent three years in the head injury rehabilitation department of Tel Hashomer hospital. In 2009, he was discharged and allowed to go home attached to a respirator.
Yonatan is paralysed in both his legs and arms. He communicates with a computer and with the aid of occupational therapists. Yonatan has 24 hour care but lives in an apartment independently next to his parents. Yonatan’s apartment has been fitted out to cater for all his needs and he has a carer who helps him. Yonatan’s parents accompany him to all his medical appointments and cater to all his medical needs. They have now been coping with this for a decade and are unclear how his medical condition will develop. They help and support Yonatan emotionally and physically around the clock. The parents are trying to create a good atmosphere and a normal life for him as much as possible. A decade after being critically wounded in the second Lebanon war, Yonatan Levin visited President Reuven Rivlin at his residence.
Please read messages from the group in their own words showing how this trip has helped them carry on.
Please read here the heartfelt message from Limor:
From Limor Azuri – 16 November 2016
To Nava (Group leader from Israel)
If I will spare words and give up sounds, I shall summarize it all in one word
Thank you, dear woman for all you have done, your hard work and deep attention
For all you have done for me ,for all you have given me, I wish you happiness and love
To my heart you will be close for always, may we meet be smachot ,with many excitements and new stories
With love and huge hug
Limor’s daughter Orel served in the IDF unit Iron Dome rocket intercepting system. From the outset she began a 3-year service in the army, but tragically she was injured after a year and 8 months.
On 11th October 2015, Orel who was 19 at the time, was on her way to carry out her duties. As she was waiting at a bus stop near Hadera when a terrorist suddenly ran her over before getting out of the car and stabbing her and the three other victims. Orel was evacuated to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, with stab wounds in her head and upper torso. Her kidney was seriously damaged and she was moved to intensive care where for 13 days she was sedated and placed on ventilation. Then they took her to the trauma there has been two months and then another 8 months in orthopedic rehabilitation.
Today, Orel is still undergoing intensive rehabilitation. She needs crutches to stand as the attack left her partially paralyzed on her left side of her body. She is also severely traumatized from the attack and suffers PTSD.
Please read here the heartfelt thank you message from Moriya:
From Moriya Ben Ari – 16 November 2016
So here I landed back to life- reality after five incredible days in London. We embarked, a group of parents to severely injured – and me (the baby of the group).
And why do I tell that to the world?
Because I have met people one doesn’t meet every day. And I have learned a lot about myself and others. I have learned to leave behind cynicism and judgment. To see people as they are, to understand that every person is coping with their own problem in their own way.
There is no right or wrong. Simply because everyone is choosing her/his own way, which enables them to take the next breath. As soon as I realised this, people appeared more beautiful better.
I have learned something about proportions. I have got my own baggage, but there are so many with heavier baggage than mine, that I feel truly lucky.
I have met courageous women, who are fighting all fronts on their own. I have a wide supporting network. I have family, friends and a community. Indeed, I have been left without my other half, but I am not alone and that is what changes the picture.
I have learned a lot about hospitality, generosity, and kindness. I have met a community of people who live far but feel so close, who have chosen to invite us into their homes and hearts, and they are doing so with so much goodwill and passion, that it had left us all open-mouthed.
Therefore, I thank you all, ‘One Family’ and Nava the one and only.
Thank you- London Hendon community and the wonderful Fisher family.
And thank you to the members of the group, for who you are.
Moriya’s husband Chagai was critically injured during Operation Cast Lead. Moriya & Chagai have 2 sons aged 9 & 6 and a daughter aged 3 who was just a baby when Chagai was injured.
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