After a near-fatal work accident, Izz ad-Din Dar Yassin, a teen from the West Bank city of Jenin, fought for his life in a Palestinian hospital. His condition deteriorated and Yassin was transferred to Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam), in Haifa, Israel, where against all odds, his life was saved.
Saving lives knows no boundaries; it transcends political, religious, and cultural differences. Eighteen-year-old, Yassin was electrocuted and severely injured in a work accident two months ago. Hospitalized in a Palestinian hospital with extensive third-degree burns all over his body, complications, including infections and renal failure, endangered his life. Yassin’s doctors decided to transfer him to an Israeli hospital, and he was evacuated to Rambam for more advanced treatment.
The road to recovery has been a long one. After receiving treatment from Rambam’s expert multidisciplinary and multicultural medical teams, his condition stabilized and Yassin is now on the way to recovering, this despite also having to undergo amputation of his right arm.
Dr. Danny Epstein, an attending physician at Rambam’s General Intensive Care Unit, has been caring for Yassin since his admission to the hospital. “The situation was very complex, and we did not know if Yassin would survive,” says Dr. Epstein, “but this kid is a fighter!” Epstein knows only a few words in Arabic, so non-verbal cues connect them - they smile to each other, make eye contact, and Yassin’s facial expressions show that he knows he is in good hands.
After he had improved, Yassin was transferred to the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for rehabilitation. Rambam’s rehab team is now focused on fitting Yassin with a prosthetic, complicated by the fact that it can be only be manufactured overseas.
When the hospital staff realized that Yassin’s 18th birthday was rapidly approaching they arranged a special surprise for him. Dr. Epstein, Dr. Yaron Bar-Lavi, ward manager, Osnat Aspis, head nurse, Rifaat Hijaa, attending nurse, and the department’s staff arranged a birthday celebration that included an outing along the beachfront next to Rambam. They also arranged for gifts, a birthday cake, confetti, and a garland of flowers. Yassin was clearly thrilled with tears in his eyes as he repeatedly exclaimed, “thank you.”
The good news is that Yassin is to be discharged at the end of this month. “Thank you very much for everything. You’ve surprised me. May we only know happiness. You’re part of my family now,” Yassin says.
The nurses who cared for Yassin point out that caring for their patients, including Yassin, always involves a bit of sacrifice. “There is no other way,” concludes head nurse Osnat Aspis, “We’re connected to our patients, whatever their background.” Indeed, seeing patients like Yassin go home with a smile – despite all they have been through – gives them the power to go on.