Sunday, December 26, 2010

Emek story: An Angry Girl and Her Bodyguard

Avital is a highly intuitive medical clown therapist – or Dream Doctor (known to all as Tila).  Amit is a ten-year old girl who was seriously injured in an automobile accident and lay in Emek’s Department of Pediatric Surgery.  One day she awoke in horror to find a fresh scar from her breast bone to her navel, from emergency surgery to repair her torn intestines and to save her life.  Amit … immobile, angry and mistrusting anyone who came near her was refusing infusions and anything offered – whether medical or of a personal nature.  The energy in her isolated room reeked of confrontation.

Enter Tila.  Within milliseconds (seeing the little girl’s angry face and no words having been spoken) she understood the forces overwhelmingly apparent in Amit’s room and she went into action.  Tila pantomimed extreme anger towards everyone in the room; Amit’s mother, a nurse and a physician – reflecting Amit’s behavior.  She stood between the girl and the others and blocked anyone from coming near.  Tila refused cookies or sweets and acted as if she wanted nothing from anyone.  Seeing her own anger being acted out by Tila, Amit cracked a smile.  The nurse noticed the change and mentioned it.  Big mistake.  Tila began ranting against the nurse and how dare she speak of a smile that was not hers to speak of.  Tila forced everyone out of the room and stood defiantly with her arms crossed in the doorway.  In those frantic moments she had become Amit’s bodyguard and a delicate ballet of trust was set in motion.

The doctor reentered and was immediately accosted by Tila who threatened him with a red and yellow plastic gun, demanding to know what he wanted and why he was there.  Amit saw this and the color returned to her face, her anger having been vented through Tila.  The doctor, fearing for his life, said that he was there to treat Amit.  Tila asked the little girl who still refused his presence and he was forced to again leave the room, followed by Tila who whispered for him to return in about five minutes. 

Tila defiantly returned to Amit’s bedside and asked the girl what she wanted.  Amit said that she wanted to leave, but she couldn’t move.  Tila pulled out a multi-colored note pad and matching pen and began drawing a map and explained how she knew of an escape route they could take to get out.  Amit then said that she wanted to go home, but without a hole in her stomach.  The little girl and her bodyguard then began a discussion about what needed to be done to fix the hole and Tila pretended not to understand.  She called the physician back in and threatened him with the gun as he explained what needed to be done so Amit could go home without a hole in her stomach.  The doc spoke only to the clown and was not allowed top speak directly with Amit.  Upon completion of his explanation, Tila threw him out of the room. 

The medical team soon returned to the room and was ordered by Tila to do exactly what needed to be done.  The atmosphere had changed dramatically as the little girl became self confident, felt that she was in control of her fate and that she was not alone because she had a bodyguard. 

When the nurse said that she needed an enema, Tila demanded that she too wanted one.  Tila complained that Amit got all the attention, was jealous of her impressive scar and that Amit was allowed to have an enema while she was refused.  Amit laughed that her bodyguard couldn’t get what she had.  

Amit was hospitalized in Emek for three long months, but she had a friend and protector.  They took walks together and Tila said to the girl’s mother (with a hidden wink), “We don’t want you to walk with us!”  One day the girl’s infusion vein clogged and she screamed in pain – refusing to let a new physician come near her.  Tila had the girl touch his hands to prove that he really was ok and only then was he allowed to reinsert the needle.  On the day of Amit’s release to go home, Tila made her a party complete with balloons and gifts for everyone.  Amit slowly walked, still bent over, from room to room with a bubble gun – shooting iridescent spheres into the air to make other children smile. 

As Amit was packing to leave, Tila was sad and complained that she had to stay.  She played it until the end.

Tila didn’t come to that little girl to tell jokes, act silly or to try and make her laugh.  Her mission was far more sophisticated. 

Tila (Avital) has a Masters degree in The Performing Arts.  When you support Emek 4 Kids, you also expose our children to the genius of the Dream Doctor.                                            

Thank you.

Larry Rich
Director of Development
International Patients & Public Relations
Israel's Emek Medical Center
Phone in Israel ... 972-04-649 4417
Mobile in Israel ... 972-0505-737 641
Phone in New York ... 646-546 5970
Fax in Israel ... 972-04-652 2642
Mailing address:
Emek Medical Center
Afula 18101

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