Ukrainian First Lady learns how Israel deals with war trauma and injuries

“We are very happy that you came here to see for yourself the special treatment here for children,” Israel’s First Lady Michael Herzog told her Ukrainian counterpart.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska visited the rehabilitation department of Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Ramat Gan and patients at the Safra Children’s Hospital on Monday.

Together with Israel’s First Lady Michal Herzog, they were shown an exhibition of photographs from Israel’s “Kochav Meir” field hospital established in Ukraine. During a six-week period in 2022, the hospital treated 6,000 Ukrainians using advanced telemedicine technologies. The field hospital was spearheaded by Sheba.

Afterwards, the ladies visited the Integrated Rehabilitation Hospital. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have lost limbs in fighting and Russian missile strikes, and Kyiv is interested in learning how Israel treats its amputees.

Accompanied by Prof. Ameti Ziv, director of the rehabilitation hospital, Herzog and Zelenska watched Uri Zahavi, who is paralyzed in the cervical spine, being treated in a unique simulator at the center that simulates walking and running situations for the rehabilitated. Afterwards, in the “virtual reality” department, the First Ladies met with Nurit Cohen Abrahams, who has been treated for many months due to blockage of blood vessels in both of her legs.

At Safra Children’s Hospital, they had an emotional meeting with 11-year-old Yonatan, who is on the autistic spectrum and has been treated for about a month in the mental health department. Yonatan told his esteemed visitors that his mother helped civilians who were injured in the war in Ukraine.

Zelenska said, “I hope that we will create new programs with the cooperation of our experts from Ukraine and your experts from Israel, in order to strengthen our health system, especially regarding mental health, in programs for mental health and in support of the rehabilitation of the injured citizens, including children , adults and the elderly. Our medical system cannot cope alone.”

“We are very happy that you came here to see for yourself the special treatment here for children. Israel is very proud, we are very proud and want to share our knowledge and infrastructure and our wonderful medical facilities with those who need them. We will continue to cooperate and help For your experts to get even better,” Herzog said.

Also participating in the visit were EU representative Katerina Maternova and Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk.