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Meir Medical Center gives Indian patient the gift of speech

CM 28/07/2021


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Shambhavi “Sam” Jha, 20, thought that she would never be able to speak in a comprehensible way. Born with a cleft palate and lip, it was hard for her to breathe, hear and talk.
“When I was young I had a huge amount of insecurity and fear that if something was said the person in front of me would not understand me, so I spoke very little and at a very low volume,” Jha told The Jerusalem Post.
But everything has since changed for Jha. And it all happened in Israel.
She and her family moved to the Jewish state a little over four years ago when her father was asked to manage an Indian bank in the country. Jha started studying at the International School in Even Yehuda.

On a day off, Jha accompanied her mother to a doctor’s appointment and she and the doctor started talking about Jha’s condition.
Jha had undergone a series of surgeries in India between the ages of 6-months and 13 years old, but they left her with a wide-range of problems, including an open passage between the oral cavity and the nasal cavity, a kind of hole that made her breathing difficult and her speech nearly incomprehensible.
Other surgeries had left her with an unpleasant scarring of the lip, the center of her face was sunken, she had a deviation of the nose and orthodontic problems. Jha also had trouble hearing, a common result of a cleft palate.
“We started chatting and the doctor told me about a friend at Meir Medical Center that is a specialist and said ‘I should go see him,’” Jha recalled. She called and within a few weeks she had an appointment.
In October 2018 she met a multidisciplinary medical team from Meir that would ultimately change her life: Dr. Bruno Kreiner and his team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons; Dr. Yaniv Ebner of the hospital’s Center for Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies; Dr. Marcos Harel, a plastic surgeon; Dr. Roman German, a cleft orthodontist; and Karmit Borochner, who is in charge of patient communication and coordination for the hospital.
Together, they built a detailed and complex multi-stage plan that involved carrying out five surgeries over two years in exactly the right order, and during the coronavirus pandemic.
The surgeries were completed just as Israel exited lockdown and Jha was able to reenter the world anew with everyone else.
“I started feeling more confident,” Jha said. “The surgeries really helped me become better as an individual and feel more comfortable with how I look. I really look the best that I can. And, of course, my speech has improved and I am able to breathe properly and my hearing is better, too.”
Jha said that a year ago she could not have conducted an interview because she could not talk.
She said she is so grateful at how everything worked out “so perfectly,” despite her meeting the Meir team being only happenstance.
“This was completely unplanned when it started and soon enough it completely changed my life for the better,” said Jha. “I am just so grateful.”
And she added that she never felt like a foreigner but like she was receiving the very best care.
“I did not feel like a stranger. I felt I could connect with [the doctors] and trust them and I am happy with the results of the surgeries,” Jha said.
Today, her parents have gone back to India, but Jha is staying in Israel and studying psychology and communications through Tel Aviv University’s International Program. She said she dreams of becoming a clinical psychologist and treating adolescents or victims of trauma.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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