Saturday, 18 Aug 2018
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My time in Bethlehem: a personal view of a placement in the Palestinian territories

 

It was overwhelming at times, and some evenings lying in bed it felt hopeless. There were many times I doubted myself and I wondered if what I was doing was beneficial.

Then a mother would tell you that their child managed to sit unaided for the first time or that their siblings were now playing with the child in a way to encourage independence, similar to your physiotherapy sessions, and you are reminded of why you chose this profession to start with.

You see the smile of the children when you walk in to the room and you know that giving up is simply not an option.

Before I left the West Bank, I asked the physiotherapists at BASR what I could do to help when returning to the UK.

All their answers were the same: tell them to come to Palestine! Come and share your knowledge and skills.

Alexandra Hejazi’S Expirience

Read more: http://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/my-time-bethlehem-personal-view-placement-palestinian-territories

 

Bethlehem Arab Society Rehabilitation

 

Today I visited an inspiration place, the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, a medical facility that is providing world-class treatment and care in the most difficult circumstances. BASR offers comprehensive medical and rehabilitation services to the people of Palestine, irrespective of gender, age, religion, and social class.

I had heard about BASR from Embrace the Middle East, which provides financial support to one of the programmes. They suggested that I would find a visit to BASR of interest.

Ken Perrett, Embrace the Middle East

Read more: http://kenperrett.blogspot.com/2014/02/bethlehem-arab-society-rehabilitation.html

 

Dear Edmund,


Liz and I would like to thank you for welcoming us so warmly to BASR when we were staying in Bethlehem. It was the most inspirational experience for us after all the years of very distant communication from Cogenhoe!
We have presented, in church, all the crosses that you gave us, to the children who come to Sunday School and to our Family services in Cogenhoe, many of whom have been involved in collecting and sending pens, stickers etc to ABCD for a number of years. You will see that a group of them have made you a ‘Thank you’ card!
Our very best wishes to you too and all the staff at BASR who are doing such an amazing job in such difficult and demanding circumstances.

 

Lesley and Liz

 

Dear Edmund,


Just a short mail to thank you again for the experience of Bethlehem which I can say makes my family and friends envy me as I told them where I had visited. I had the most wonderful time on Friday evening and Saturday morning in your company and it’s time I will not forget in a long time.
I thought the photograph really captured your wonderful personality. I would really appreciate it if you could pass my best wishes to Dr Jamil, Dr Mohamad and all those members of staff that I met while I was there you have a great team of people.


Please take care and God Bless you for all you are doing for your people.


With my very best wishes


Margaret


Dear Edmund, 


I am writing to express my gratitude to you and your colleagues at the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation. 
My brother, Patrick ‘Billy’ Walsh recently went to the Holyland on a pilgrimage and holiday. One day after he arrived he was taken ill and luckily for him he was taken to your hospital. He was quickly diagnosed as having ‘distended intestines’ which we now know to be life threatening. It was clear he was very seriously ill and it is likely he would have died within hours if your colleagues had not responded in such a speedy and professional manner.

My family and I would like to thank you and your colleagues for taking care of our brother. We are not surprised that he received such good care in Palestine and we are aware of how ‘difficult’ your circumstances are and this makes us more appreciative of your help and generosity. We were not informed about Billy’s illness until he arrived back home in Middlesbrough. In his one phone call home which he made five days after the operation he mentioned he “hadn’t been too well”. He is a ‘hardy’ type, a trait he seems to share with many of the Palestinian people. 
We are particularly moved and impressed with the post operative ‘aftercare’. I am confident that one of the reasons Billy didn’t feel the need t o let us know the seriousness of the situation was because he knew he was in ‘good hands’ and surrounded by genuine people. It was particularly thoughtful of the staff at BASR to arrange for Billy to be given a personal tour of some of the holy shrines once he had recovered. 

Since arriving back in the UK my brothers experiences with his local health service has not been without problems but I’m sure we will overcome them. We intend to contact our local MP’s and make them aware of the wonderful treatment my brother received at your hospital. We will also ask our MP’s to help progress the release of EU funds/grants set aside for the Palestinian people so that institutions like BASR can continue in their good work. 

Yours Sincerely,
Stephen Walsh

 

Hello Dr Shehadeh, 

This message is coming to you from one who forever credited you with her life and the wonderful journey that I traveled to get me where I am today. You have been on my mind, in my heart and forever the candle that lit my teen years during my stay in Bethlehem.. not sure of the years but very assured of the road that you & Dr S. Shehadeh lit up for me and many other kids. The days of the Christian Approach Mission of Bethlehem. For years I wondered what became of the faces and the places that translated disabilities into monumental abilities. Never forgotten my visit to your house in Bait Jala… the & Angel (The two sisters), um Muhamad..etc and all the great staff that worked practically for nothing to care for us. I even kept a picture of you with susan.. wearing a white fur coat under the Almond tree. I can go on with my memories as if I am living the story today… hopefully will have a future chance to relive the past. Approximately 35yrs fast forward, finished Tawjihi… college Education in the US, Public Health and Hospital Administration courtesy of King Hussein… Married .. to none other than an M.D. (Health care is in my blood.. simply lived with it all my life).. the mother of two beautiful princesses (Geszelle 11yrs & Izabelle 9 yrs) .. smart as can be. Who said women of Polio cannot be great mothers. Then I go to fix my car, and everyone in the shop is talking Bait Jala style, I had to ask about my long lost HERO of a Physical Therapist. Sure enough they knew of you and gave me the e-mail and web site…. Here we are. 
I was thrilled to see the website.. in fact I got chills in my spine. It took me ten days to get the courage and write. I am well, in fact very well and alive. I hope to hear from you soon. Best wishes and continued success. 

Forever grateful, 
Zaka (Zaka’a) Azar

 

Greetings from Malaysia

To all the orthopaedic surgeons, staff, nurses of BASR orthopaedic department My wife ( Yeoh Cheng Sim) and I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful help during her one-night stay in your hospital. Special thanks to the orthopaedic surgeon who performed the closed reduction intervention and the doctor on duty that day who gave her emergency treatment. She underwent another surgery in Malaysia on the 13th of Nov and was discharged two days ago. She is well and resting at home. We hope to visit Bethlehem again when she is well enough. Thank you once again and may God bless all of you. 

Andrew & Wife

 

Dear Dr. Shehadeh 

I believe we exchanged a few words when I was under the care of Dr. 
Usama Elbedd on the 14-16 of October 2008. 
You actually asked me how I was being treated. The answer is , of course, that I was treated wonderfully by everybody at all times. The paramedics who took me and my wife from St. Vincent’s Guest House, John Paul II Street, the ward nurses and sisters and all your staff. 
I am also, of course indebted to Dr. Usama Elbedd. 
I will make it my business to tell all those I know of the good works of BASR as I have already done to my fellow pilgrims on the recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

 
With best wishes and kind regards,

 
Yours sincerely, 
John Paton