On the screen they form a row of numbers. Impersonal numbers marching down an excel sheet. But behind every number is a family. Perhaps a Mommy living under unbelievable tension, a grandma watching from the sidelines- worried, helpless or a small child expressing his frustrations at his inability to do what every other child can do in tantrum after tantrum. People living through life’s crises. Falling. Trying again.
Fraidy and her parents were one such family. Fraidy was born a preemie. Her development was slow, as expected. At twenty seven months, she still was not walking. Due to her high muscle tone, she had trouble straightening her legs. The only way she could get around was by walking on her knees. But walking on knees is not walking. It’s difficult and does not allow her to make her way around the house with ease. Walking outdoors is completely impossible. No visit to the grocery with Mommy. No thrilling trip down the playground slide. And constantly seeing the neighbor’s children exploring the outdoors while she feels herself to be second rate. How long can a mother look at her child’s sad face without breaking down herself!
She was receiving physical therapy three times a week and progress was being made. The family was looking forward to normalcy, perhaps by age three. But then something happened to thwart all that.
Her younger sister was born. With a defect. A life-threatening defect. A liver transplant was needed. Abroad.
“There was no question that we would give our younger daughter what she needed,” says Mrs. S. “But what about Fraidy? Would our long stay abroad curtail, for the time being, her therapy? Would all her progress be halted? Would she perhaps even regress?”
Throughout their ordeal with Fraidy, Ezer Mizion had been at their side with advice, with advocacy, with meals when the going got rough, with rides to the clinic and, most important, with that supportive smile that envelops the receiver with strength. It was only natural that they turned to Ezer Mizion now with their dilemma. A dilemma so hard for parents when the needs of one child conflict with the needs of another. There were meetings with the physiotherapist. Phone calls. And then came an answer. ‘How about trying the monkey?”
“She was referring to a monkey stander. The physiotherapist recommended it highly and Ezer Mizion’s Medical Equipment Loan Center had one available for the family. It would do much to advance Fraidy’s motor function in the areas of standing and walking and would extend her leg muscles significantly. Would it work? Our answer came in the form of an effusive thank you letter from Mrs. S. enabling us to share her joy.
“I cannot capture on paper the light and joy that came into our house after just one week of using the monkey stander. The stander’s engaging design stimulated Fraidy to form an attachment to it and to want to use it. It has become her best friend. She eats in the stander, plays in the stander, and her friends gather around her to play along. This was beneficial for her socially and emotionally, too, since she no longer felt like the disabled girl on the sidelines. The monkey stander has indescribably jumpstarted our little girl’s progress, with unbelievable effectiveness. With Hashem’s help, she has already taken her first steps, to the family’s enthusiastic applause!”
“Dear Ezer Mizion,” she continues. “Thank you from the depths of our hearts! We hope that, with continued use of the stander, Fraidy will walk on her own two feet, like everyone else, even before we have to fly abroad. A major part of this success is to your merit.
“May Hashem help you continue your wonderful work and bring light and joy to many more homes.”
To “meet” other special children assisted by Ezer Mizion:
Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.