Colorful toucans, zebras, and giraffes form the backdrop for cuddly stuffed animals like monkeys and lions in the new pediatric trauma waiting room at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. Wooden toys invite to play for younger patients, and a video gaming room with soccer-shaped chairs engages older kids. A library with story-books helps distract the children, while parents prepare drinks in the kitchenette.

It all came about when a group of mothers from Jerusalem’s Kibbutz Ramat Rachel decided the old waiting room needed sprucing up and began working on the project with Hadassah Hospital staff. Kibbutznik Lior Tzangen became devoted to this initiative after she brought her three-week-old baby to the hospital when he began vomiting. “Given our son’s age, our concern was off the charts,” she explained at the opening ceremony for the new waiting area. “We received amazing, thoughtful, and compassionate care.” The baby, it turned out, had a virus.

Tzangen also recalled a second visit to Hadassah with her daughter, aged two. The toddler had burned her hands on a hot surface. On that occasion as well, the staff was “there for us around the clock,” Tzangen says.

Patients often say, “I don’t know how to thank you.” Not the mothers of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel!

Originally published in Hadassah International on 21 January 2020 - Click here to read original