Yanky and Gitty Schwartz celebrated the birth of Mimi, with their family and friends, thanking the RBSH”O for the gift of a perfect baby girl. And then, just 3 months later, the excitement was replaced with worry and fear. Little Mimi was listless, running a constant fever, that no medications would bring down. Trip after trip to their pediatrician’s office produced little results. Their doctor realized the severity of the situation and sent them to a renowned hospital’s state of the art Pediatric Emergency Room. The team of pediatric specialists worked quickly, determining that Mimi was suffering from meningitis. Unfortunately, she did not respond to the medications, and was soon totally dependent on life
support in the Pediatric ICU.
For weeks, as little Mimi fought for her life, the critical care staff in the Pediatric ICU, fought with her. And then, they began to perform diagnostic tests to determine Mimi’s mental function. As results of testing came in, Yanky and Gitty Schwartz noticed a shift in the team’s attitude. They sent the Palliative Care team to discuss the importance of “letting Mimi go”. Although her vital organs were all in perfect health, they explained that she would never have a quality of life and therefore there was no purpose to continuing her treatment.
The Schwartzes reached out to Chayim Aruchim. Rabbi Menachem Horowitz and Mrs. Leah Horowitz negotiated with the medical team, explaining that as Orthodox Jews, these parents would not allow a discontinuation of care. Each day was a new battle, to get the treating physicians to dispense the medications Mimi needed to live. When the hospital was asked to trach the child, so that she could
be transferred to a long term care facility, they flat out refused, stating that any treatment was, in their opinion, futile. They did agree, however, that if an appropriate facility were found, they would continue treatment until Mimi could be transferred.
Leah Horowitz reached out to Rabbi Mendel Rottenberg, administrator of Ditmas Children’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, who was extremely moved by Mimi’s plight, and immediately offered his assistance in any way possible. He reached out to his Medical Director, Dr.Michael Marcus, who agreed to review
Mimi’s chart, to see if their facility could provide her with the level of care she required.
Within a matter of days, Mimi was B”H successfully transferred to Ditmas Children’s where she is being cared for by an incredibly devoted team of doctors, nurses, and therapists. Weeks later, Yanky and Gitty feel comfortable enough not to sit at her bedside 24 hrs a day. They have developed a relationship with the staff, who consult with them each step of the way, and treat each symptom Mimi develops. The warmth and homey atmosphere are in stark contrast with the cold stares they were used to experiencing in the World Class Hospital. Suddenly, instead of being parents who want to use vital medical care for a useless purpose, they are the parents of a seriously ill very beloved child. They know, that Mimi is
always surrounded by love.
As we continue to Daven for Mimi’s refuah, we are grateful for the opportunity to save this beautiful little girl’s life.