Prof Dror Mevorach

With the chaos surrounding us, you could be forgiven for thinking that every hospital admission is related to COVID-19. In reality, hospitals are dealing with many other critical and chronic issues. Few hold our interest in the same way that a pandemic does, but here is one exception.

Jerusalem mother, Limor, 30, consulted doctors 18 times in seven months for excruciating back pain. The doctors said it wasn’t unusual during pregnancy; they told her to lose weight; she was even told that her problem was emotional and suggested she consult a social worker or a psychologist.

None would take an X-ray or MRI because of her pregnancy. In effect she was told to grin and bear it.

In desperation, Limor came to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and was hospitalised in the Internal Medicine Department.

“We suspected that something more serious was happening,” said Prof. Dror Mevorach, Internal Medicine Department head.
Hadassah doctors are told to ‘think outside the square’ when dealing with problems that are not easily resolvable. It’s consistent with Hadassah’s philosophy of doctors being ‘bedside researchers’.

The MRI revealed that Limor had a rare giant cell tumour halfway down her back. It was pressing on her spinal cord at T5 and was attached to ribs on both sides. Despite its fearsome name, these are usually not cancerous.

However, they can be aggressive and grow very fast with the extra hormones of pregnancy. Untreated it could have paralysed Limor.
Dr. Josh Schroeder, a Hadassah orthopaedic surgeon with a specialty in spine surgery, was able to remove the tumour safely. Pain free, Limor gave birth to a healthy baby.

Says Prof. Mevorach, “This woman’s suffering had been waved away by many medical professionals. She even tried reading self-help books when they suggested she had a psychological problem. The moral of the story? Listen to your patients and remember that just because a condition is rare, it doesn’t mean that it’s not what you’re seeing in the patient before you. That’s what we do at Hadassah.”