WAKING UP FROM A NIGHTMARE
IMAGINE LIVING IN SO MUCH FEAR THAT YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE TO INCLUDE LAYING OUT A MATTRESS IN YOUR BUILDING’S HALLWAY
Tamar is a 15-year-old girl living with Angelman’s Syndrome. Despite being the size of a young woman, Tamar wears a diaper and is cognitively similar to an infant. Tamar’s mother, Sara, takes care of her day and night. Often, they share a bed because when Tamar forgets to breath, Sara’s gentle nudge is the reminder Tamar’s body needs to get back on track.
Tamar and Sara live in a 4th floor apartment in Petah Tikva. Living in the center of Israel has not kept them from the noises and fear from incoming rockets. Since they have no internal safe room, they have been sleeping on a mattress in the building’s corridor in the evenings.
Sara says “nighttime is the hardest for me since I am always between awake and asleep. But in the last few weeks, I stay awake to make sure that Tamar is alive, safe, and calm. It is a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from.”
Sara was contacted by Jordan River Village’s team asking if she would like to bring Tamar to the Village, for free, to experience some respite and healing fun. Sara said “from the moment they contacted me, it was as if they were taking care of me while I was taking care of Tamar. It went from a nightmare to a dream. The Village took care of everything including all the things I didn’t know we needed.”
For a few days Sara reveled in the Village’s calmness while Tamar was able to thrive off the energy and excitement of the volunteers who helped her play games and participate in new types of activities—all safe for children with serious illnesses.
Sara said “I will be forever grateful for Jordan River Village, they didn’t just help us for a few days; I know this experience will stay with us forever.”
By promoting “a different type of healing,” the Village represents the best of Israel as it impacts each sick child, strengthens families, empowers communities, and promotes social change in the entire country.
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