The Story of Kaess
Kaess and Khaled are twins from Gaza. While Khaled was born a healthy boy, Kaess was diagnosed with kidney malformation. At the age of 3 weeks, he was separated from his family and hospitalized at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, accompanied by an older uncle, the only member of the family who was able to receive a permit to enter Israel. After two months of inte sive care (24/7), the uncle, who was not allowed to leave the hospital, was at his wits end and close to cracking up. Five members of HWB rose to the challenge to assist both the baby and the uncle. They mothered the baby, hugged him, talked to him, brought him toys and played with him as any good grandmother would. Our volunteers chatted with the uncle, helped him contact the family in Gaza, did his laundry, brought him food and treats, and introduced him to the Israeli coffee culture at the local branch of the Aroma coffee shop.
When the uncle returned to Gaza, he was replaced by a 64- year-old aunt who stayed in the hospital for about three weeks. She also received the warm support of the group, with beautiful and boundless friendship created almost without words. Finally, in November, Kaess' mother received a permit to enter Israel. There was a truly emotional encounter between the baby and his mother, who had not seen her son for three and a half months. The medical team trained the mother to perform home dialysis, all the necessary equipment was provided, and they were able to return to their home in Gaza.