News and Events

Rambam Patient Recovering from COVID-19 Gets to Visit the Sea

Publication Date: 5/6/2021 10:30 AM

Jimmy Saadeh has been hospitalized at Rambam Health Care Campus for two months with COVID-19 and subsequent complications of the virus.

Jimmy Saadeh, his family, and his treatment team from the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Photography: Rambam HCC Jimmy Saadeh, his family, and his treatment team from the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Photography: Rambam HCC

For nearly two months, Jimmy Saadeh, 45, from Shfaram, has been hospitalized at Rambam Health Care Campus, fighting for his life. Saadeh spent about one month in the hospital’s COVID-19 department, followed by another month of a slow, difficult recovery in the Edmond De Rothschild Medical Intensive Care Unit. This week, for the first time, he was allowed to leave the hospital to see the sea and eat ice cream. “The simplest things—those we routinely take for granted—become treasured gifts in these circumstances,” said Genia Roif, Saadeh's nurse in the unit, where he remains hospitalized. “In the last few months, we saw strong patients who succumbed to the coronavirus, and those who succeeded in overcoming their illness. The struggle of each one of them was complicated and challenging—everyone who is able to go home is an exciting success story for us.”

Several months after marrying Fadwa, Saadeh became seriously ill with COVID-19, and was hospitalized in Rambam’s Crown Department A at the beginning of March, when COVID-19 patients were still being treated in the COVID-19 facility in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. Shortly after his arrival, his condition continued to deteriorate and he was transferred to Crown Department C (the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit), where he was sedated and placed on a ventilator. Within a few weeks, Saadeh recovered from the coronavirus, but due to complications from his illness, his life was still in danger. He was then transferred to the Medical Intensive Care Unit, under the direction of Dr. Asaf Miller.

Saadeh remained sedated and connected to the ventilator for a number of weeks, and his condition remained serious. During the last few days, he finally began to show signs of recovery and his medical team decided to add a new component to his care – the experiential aspect. “During his entire hospitalization, Saadeh has been in enclosed areas of the hospital. For most of that time, he was kept under sedation and on a ventilator. He had no exposure to the open air, to the light of day, and to the views of the sea and the Carmel Mountains that surround our hospital, and he was unable to enjoy the company of family members,” explained Roif. “The moment his medical condition allowed, we began taking him outside so that he could feel the sun, see the sea, and spend time with his loved ones – to experience the little, yet still meaningful, things. We believe this is a vital and inseparable part of the patient's care.”

As Fadwa stood at the side of her husband, she expressed the importance of her faith during the difficult moments and her gratitude to Rambam. “He was critically ill, but I always had faith and hope that he would come through it all. I am so grateful for all the people who prayed for him, who watched over him, who supported us - the doctors, the nurses, and everyone.”