My name is Lior Cohen and I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I am writing to tell you about my son Chaim, who was born with a rare, complex heart condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he was born without a left chamber in his heart. On his first day of life, he had to undergo severe resuscitation due to a shock in his heart, and the doctors gave him very little chance of survival.
When Chaim was just ten days old, he had an operation called "Norod" while he was under anesthesia. At four months old, he was hospitalized again due to complications with his eating and activity levels. Although he was released from the hospital for a day, he had to be immediately readmitted. Chaim's life has been a constant struggle since then. At six months old, he underwent a second operation called "Gland," but during his transfer to the operating room, he stopped breathing and had to undergo resuscitation again. Additionally, the artery in his leg was blocked due to transfusions, which led to swelling in his leg.
During the surgery, the doctors had to open Chaim's leg, which remained open for two weeks until the circulation was restored. Thanks to complex rehabilitation procedures, Chaim was able to recover, and he underwent a successful heart surgery two days later. However, the joy of his recovery was short-lived. When we took Chaim home, he suddenly swelled up and lost consciousness, and we rushed him to the nearest hospital in Jerusalem. The doctors were initially unsure what was causing the swelling, but then told us that Chaim suffered from a stroke.
Miraculously, he slowly began to recover, though the process was arduous. Eating was a great struggle for him, and he approached it with the hesitation and uncertainty of a newborn baby.
Watching him suffer was an agonizing experience. He was in so much pain, yet could only cry silently. As it turned out, a single strand in his throat had become paralyzed, leaving him unable to even move his right hand or hear his own cries.
We spent nearly three years bouncing between short stays at home and frequent hospitalizations, hoping for any semblance of progress. But just as we thought things might be improving, Chaim's health took a turn for the worse again. We rushed him to Sheba Hospital, where doctors discovered that he was suffering from severe heart failure. Despite trying new medication, the doctors concluded that Chaim needed a heart transplant to survive. We were advised to go to Germany to increase our chances of finding a heart donor, but we consulted with Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv Z”tzl and Rabbi Ovadia Z”tzl, who both blessed Chaim and suggested that we have the operation in Israel. Thanks to the generosity of an organ donor, Chaim received a heart transplant in Israel and has been recovering slowly.
We are grateful for every day that Chaim is alive, but his recovery requires continuous treatments, check-ups, and hospital visits. Our life as a family of seven is extremely complex. Despite our efforts to work hard and support each other with dignity, it's a constant struggle. I work tirelessly from morning to night as an educator at a Talmud Torah, responsible for registering teenagers for educational programs, and even as a lecturer in training programs.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I still struggle to make ends meet, largely due to past debts incurred as a result of our difficult circumstances. Keeping up with the needs of our seven children is a constant challenge that weighs heavily on me.
At the same time, we are struggling with his brother, who has been blind in one eye since birth.
He is receiving prosthetics in his eye and requires professional medical supervision.
Thus, for thirteen years, we have been raising our sons - In hospitals, surgical wards, recovery rooms, resuscitations, and treatments.
That's why I'm reaching out to you, my dear friend, to ask for your help in covering our past debts and getting back on our feet. Your assistance would give me the strength to keep going and persevere through this difficult time. I'm truly grateful for any help you can offer...