An unexpected storm maximizes a family’s full power
Maysa was born healthy with a very independent spirit. Her mother tells us she always wanted to prepare her lunch box alone, to choose her own clothes and always wanted to help others. This independent character became a double-edged sword for Maysa, who was diagnosed with physical disability.
Maysa caught a virus, which caused severe paralysis. In one day, her entire life was changed; becoming the one who now needed to turn to others for help. She did not express her feelings, and whilst her parents could sense what she was feeling, they choose not to discuss this with her.
Moreover, Maysa was not able to continue learning at her school because there were so many stairs to navigate and her mother was not able to take and collect her from school. Therefore, every day her father had to leave his work in order to support his daughter. This led the family to change Maysa’s school to another, which had no stairs at all. This school was far away but the family had no closer choices.
Maysa received all her medicines and ostensibly recovered from the virus. Nevertheless, she was left with a paralysis that turned her life upside down! The doctors recommended that she receive physical therapy and predicted that she needed 6 months to one year to recover.
Our Medical Director, Dr. Waddah Malhees met Maysa and her mother in the West Bank and referred her to the intensive and comprehensive therapeutic program at the Basma Centre in Jerusalem. When Maysa arrived at JPBC Child Rehabilitation She was not able to walk, and her arms were powerless; she was not able to hold a phone or a plastic cup of water in her hand.
Her mother explained that; “Maysa wasn’t happy with the therapy sessions at the beginning,” and at the same time, the mother thought that they were not enough, and would not achieve the necessary results any time soon. However, with one admission after another, the mother started to realize the difference and see the progress. Since the admissions at the Basma Centre are intensive and comprehensive, “I thought sessions were not enough, but the intensity of having a number of sessions every day made a huge difference.” The mother also benefited from the Mother and Family Empowerment Program (MFEP); “I was trained in each therapy session so that now I can continue providing therapies to my daughter at home or during the afternoon while we are still at the Basma Centre”. Maysa’s mother also transferred her therapeutic knowledge to the whole family and adapted the ‘Home Therapy Plan’ to their regular life.
As mentioned above, the family anticipated a recovery within 6 months to one year. However, in reality, this did not happen. This was stressful for the family. It was not easy for them because nothing was certain, fearing; “now it may take another year or more”.
From day one, the MFEP provides psychosocial support to families at the Centre. This has helped this family to overcome the consequences of the delay in Maysa’s recovery and has enhanced their experience; “There should be hope, no matter how hard the situation is, we can work with it. We are still trying and things are improving gradually,” the mother says. She adds, “Maysa started to be happier at the Centre. When she sees other children, she knows she is not alone. Also, the team is very supportive; there is no way that they would not respond to our calls or our questions.”
Maysa recently visited our Centre in November. She now walks independently and is close to a full recovery. Her mother tells us, “all is good, and right now; she does her lunch box alone again.”
Before leaving our Centre, on this occasion, the Mother and her Daughter left a special letter of thanks to the team to express their delight at Maysa walking again.
Sometimes, it is the unexpected storms that can change our lives for the better, most of the time we imagine that we cannot move forward, but when we are in the battleground, only at this time do we know that we can!