The Healing Spirit of Hadassah Hospital (Israel Uncovered Bus 1)

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Samantha (Sammy) Wilkin is a third year Human Development major and Spanish minor at UC Davis. Her goal is to become a Physician Assistant with a specialty in Pediatrics. At UC Davis, she is a member of Alpha Phi sorority, the UC Davis Club Tennis travel competition team, Program Chair of Aggies for Israel, and the Shabbat and Holidays Fellow at Hillel at Davis and Sacramento. She participated on Bus 1 of Israel Uncovered: Campus Leaders Mission, 2014-15. The students on Israel Uncovered had the pleasure of visiting the Davidson Tower of Hadassah Hospital located in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, with a guided tour by Barbara Sofer, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Our first stop was the pediatric ward where Barbara talked about the immense amount of research being done by Hadassah doctors and the incredible advanced medical technology they have there, from discovering new vaccines for Ebola or cancer, to helping children and families who have HIV/AIDS. It doesn’t matter if a patient is Jewish or Arab, all mothers are treated the same at Hadassah, along with their children. The next stop of the tour was the trauma room of the emergency department. Here, Barbara discussed the policy that Hadassah has about caring for each and every patient as a person. She told the story of two men lying in beds side by side following a terror attack, one person being the victim and the other the terrorist. The doctors treated the men exactly the same and saved both of their lives.

Last but not least, we got to see the Chagall Windows, which are located in a Synagogue inside the hospital. These windows represent the 12 tribes in the Bible, and Chagall worked on these windows for approximately 2 years. They are breathtaking to see and add a sense of color, light, and hope to the already beautiful hospital. Our final activity in the hospital was hearing from a young man whose life was dramatically changed as a child because of a terror attack when he stepped on a land mine that exploded beneath his feet, leaving him partially paralyzed. He discussed with us the amazing help he has received from Hadassah Hospital from his childhood until now. He referred to Hadassah as his home and the doctors as his family.

As an aspiring medical doctor, coming to Hadassah was a dream come true. I had heard about its credibility and incredible medical innovations in the news and from people who had visited, but seeing it for myself sparked a sense of reassurance in me that I am in the right field. It also made me appreciate all that Israel does for the rest of the world and so much more. It’s everyday medical advances and exceptional and equal care of patients is something that I hope to be a part of in my future, whether or not my goal of interning in Israel for a few months after I graduate becomes reality. I truly believe Hadassah Hospital encompasses a remarkable healing spirit, evident from the very moment you enter the front doors.

Sammy 1Sammy, above, looking at the Chagall windows