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Jewish Post

Crisis Situation in Israel, and at Sheba

By Prof. Zeev Rotstein, Director,
Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer

My friends, as you follow the deteriorating security situation in Israel, I wanted to bring to your attention that the Sheba Medical Center has been placed on emergency alert status, and is taking a series of urgent steps to gird itself for the coming challenges.

The first wounded of "Operation Pillar of Defense" are already at Sheba. We are treating the victims of the direct strike on a Kiryat Malachi home this morning - in which three people were killed. One of the people killed was a young mother, Mira Scharf. Her husband and four-year-old son are in serious condition at Sheba, and were both operated on this afternoon. Her two daughters, ages 2.5 years and nine months old, are mildly injured and also are hospitalized here.

Sheba is also treating IDF Capt. Ziv Shilon, who jeep was rocketed by the Hamas last week at the start of the current hostilities. He lost a hand, and we are struggling to save his other hand and his eyesight. He was operated on today by our orthopedic hand specialists.

Missiles fired by the Hamas in Gaza have now fallen only 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the hospital campus on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. We are moving rapidly to protect our patient population, and to ready protected underground facilities in which we can continue operating even if the missile attacks grow closer and more intense.

This evening we began taking emergency equipment out of mothballs to allow for the opening and rapid refurbishment of a series of eight underground operating rooms, and to bombproof two others.

We also are opening our brand new underground and protected maternity ward, whose construction we are still completing, but it is ready enough to handle birthing cases if needed.

We are also rushing to expand our Burns Center - a vitally needed national project. Israel does not have anywhere near the burns treatment facilities and capacity it needs, and we have taken it upon ourselves to remedy this.

Sheba Medical Center will meet all these challenges. We owe it to our patients and to ourselves! But our needs are great and immediate. I am sharing this with you in the express hope that you, our friends around the world, will rally to our side and help philanthropically. The Sheba Gala in New York City, is only two weeks away on December 3rd 2012. Please support our efforts in these very challenging times by attending the dinner or donating to Sheba. You can RSVP or donate through our website at this address:

Please know that the People of Israel are strong and determined to outlast any and all enemies. I know that you stand by Israel, and I am sure that you will stand with the Sheba Medical Center in concrete terms too.

On behalf of the Sheba staff and patient population, I thank you!

Professor Zeev Rotstein

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