Beloved friends: I know that many of you love us very much and also my wonderful dad and want to know what is going on and are afraid to ask. So I took some time from the hell we are in and I am writing a summary of the situation as of Monday, May 15th. Please, no further questions via messages or on the phone. We very much appreciate the good intentions and the love, but it’s hard for us to deal with updating people individually because we are beside ourselves with shock and grief.
Dad suffers from a mysterious and aggressive respiratory disease. He fell ill about three weeks ago and was admitted to Carmel Hospital about two weeks ago. All the tests and probes – bacterial, viral, infectious – found nothing and the best minds in Israel and internationally cannot figure out what it is. Before you ask, they ruled out COVID. Whatever it was, it spread to both lungs quickly. Dad was transferred to intensive care last Thursday. Two days ago, on Saturday morning, his parameters were already very low and he had a lot of difficulty breathing, so they put dad to sleep and started intubating him. This morning they connected him to an Ecmo device, which is akin to an artificial lung, in order to gain more time and make some more inquiries. It is possible, but not certain, that they will consider a lung transplant, but we do not yet know what the chances are, and the risks are grave.
Dad is still alive and the medical staff tell us he can hear us. We concentrate on encouraging him and I read to him from the book he requested before falling asleep – Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. We pass on encouraging messages and play him music he likes. We are allowed to be with him for two hours a day, between 1 and 2 and between 6 and 7, but sometimes this does not happen because of emergency treatments.
What is unhelpful/hurtful: wild theorizing, things along the lines of “everything is for the best” or “everything happens for a reason” (whether Jewish, New Age, or whatever), telephone calls, requests that we update personally. Believe us, the best minds are deeply involved and hard at work and we trust them. If you can’t help yourself, please talk to me and not to mom, but I implore you to make an effort.
What helps: Hugs. Listening quietly and empathetically if one of us calls you. If I think you can help, then I will contact you personally, there is no need to contact me. Many thanks, I know you love and mean well.