News and Events

Rambam Fulfills Young Girl’s Dream to be a Midwife

Publication Date: 3/20/2019

Due to several different medical conditions, nine-year-old Elia Zach has been in and out of hospitals since she was four-and-a-half years old. Her best hospital visit occurred when Rambam fulfilled her dream of being a midwife for a day in its maternity ward.

Elia in the baby nursery. Photography: Nethaniel Ayzik, Spokesperson's Office, RHCCElia in the baby nursery. Photography: Nethaniel Ayzik, Spokesperson's Office, RHCC

When fourth grader Elia Zach was four-and-a-half, she was diagnosed with a rare disease. With time, it became clear that she was also suffering from several difficult diseases, the most serious of which, was the production of tumors in different parts of her body. Her mother, Meital, explains that Elia’s condition is quite rare.

Over the years, Elia has been treated at three medical centers in Israel, one of which is Rambam. Twelve physicians treat and monitor her condition. Due to the complexity and rareness of the disease, Elia travels to Boston once a year for intensive tests and has undergone surgery in Boston twice. While in the intensive care unit after the second operation, Elia suffered a stroke and was saved by the medical team.

Big Dreams

Elia dreams of being a midwife, and Meital notes that her daughter has been talking about her dream for more than two years. “Despite all of her hospital visits, she took the most positive department. She is a very optimistic girl. She says to me, 'Mom, I want to be a midwife. I want to bring healthy children into the world.'" The person who helped fulfill Elia's dream and created the connection with Rambam was Vera Katsavich, Elia's English teacher. "Two years ago, I and another teacher, Tzipi Arazi, launched a project called ‘Sometimes Dreams come True.’ During the project, the children shared their dreams. Most of the girls said they wanted to be one celebrity or another, which was fine. But Elia said, 'I want to be a midwife,'" recalls Katsavich.

Hila Calderon, a midwife in Rambam’s delivery room for 11 years, accompanied Elia throughout the day, explaining how the department staff worked.

In the maternity ward, she met Noy, who was 31 weeks pregnant. "Pregnant women have 40 weeks and then have a planned birth date," Hilla explained to the excited girl. "Put your hand on her stomach. Do you feel the baby?" Elia nodded with a smile.

"I’m very pleasantly surprised that there is a girl who has wanted to be a midwife since she was five years old," Calderon says.

Meital, Elia's mother, wanted to thank the both the department’s staff and the hospital. "Everyone is amazing here. I see everyone's generosity and tolerance; this is a very stressful department, and despite everything we were allowed to enter. Everyone gave their time with patience and love. As a mother, I’m no less excited than Elia. I was very moved by the fact that she was with the babies, held their hands, and gave them food, because in the end, a child always needs to see and feel the real thing. She saw, felt, and heard. I am raising the next midwife in Israel.”