A Week in the ICU with the Gross Brothers (9-Minute Awe-Inspiring Video)
For the past week and a half we’ve been hearing about the miracles taking place at Schneider Children’s Hospital second hand through news reports. But now, through this incredible video footage of the Gross brothers’ ICU stay, we can watch the miracle as it actually occurred, day by day. One thing to keep in mind–this news report was made by a “secular” news crew about a largely “secular” medical staff who clearly see what occurred as an outright miracle from Hashem. If you are wondering how to express your gratitude to Hashem and the phenomenally dedicated staff of Schneider Children’s hospital for the recovery of the Gross boys, you might want to click this link and say “Thank You!” with a donation…
Click here to watch video on YouTube
A week with the medical staff at Scheider Children’s Hospital by Maya Aiden, Channel 10
Wednesday January 19
Dr. Orit Manor: Senior Doctor: “In a moment we’re going to remove the tube, and you’ll feel better”
Narrator: Already for a week brothers Yitzchak and Michael Gross have been under general anesthesia and on medical ventilators. This morning the doctors in the Intensive Care Heart Unit at Schneider Children’s Hospital will attempt to wake them up.
Nurse: Should I cover you? Is that good?
Narrator: Since the morning they have been dripping less anesthesia into Yitzchak’s blood, the younger Gross brother. Slowly, he is beginning to move.
Nurse: Yitzchak, do you want us to wash your eyes off? Wash off your eyes, yes?
Flashback to the day of poisoning, the previous Wednesday. Father, Shimon Gross:”The feelings are very difficult…at these moments.
Narrator: The previous days have been nervewracking. The medical staff is working around the clock. Even though this is the routine here, but last Wednesday the unit prepared itself for the Gross brothers who had been poisoned during the pesticide tragedy in Jerusalem.
Golan Shukrun (Director of Technical Support, Schneider): We flew at once, with all of every possible kind of equipment necessary [to Shaarei Tsedek Hospital in Jerusalem]. The sight that we saw there was …it was the first time I’ve ever seen doctors cry.
Narrator: By that point, sisters Avigail and Yael were no longer among the living. And the brothers were suffering from arrhythmias and their hearts were on the brink of collapse.
Shukrun: They have just resuscitated the 3rd child, and decide to transport him immediately to the surgery room and the fourth child is also about to collapse, and they see that they are losing the children…
Dr. Ainat Beerak: Head Doctor, Intensive Care Heart Unit: They were having a great deal of arryhythmias. [Pointing to heart monitor] So these sharp, narrow things were very, very wide. Which is more characteristic of a person having a heart attack than a child.
Narrator: The children were put into ambulances and rushed to Schneider Children’s Hospital. They are received in the department into beds next to one another. Yitzchak, the younger brother, who weighs more, is in better condition. And firstborn Michael worries the doctors on account of the long resuscitation he had undergone. And nobody knows how that will impact the functioning of his body.
Flashback to first day at Schneider
Reporter: Is there a chance they will survive?
Senior Doctor: Yes.
Reporter: Both of them?
Senior Doctor: I think that at this point we don’t yet know…It’s too early to say.
Narrator: The parents return broken from the funeral of their two daughters to the ICU.
Michal Gross: I feel the embraces of the Jewish people, and I am thankful to everyone. Only prayers will help, there’s nothing else. Because their condition is critical, very critical.
Narrator: The prayers help. The parents and the staff endure long days of worry.
Doctor Beerak: On Sunday, the heart moves a little. On Sunday night, it moved more. On Monday, we tried to turn down the heart-lung machine, and we saw that the heart was pulsing more. So the decisions were made very gradually.
Narrator: On Tuesday morning, Yitzchak’s heart is beating again on its own, the numbers are promising, and the doctors decide to disconnect him from the ECMO machine.
Dr.Beerak: It was two brothers, and it was also one after the other. I can’t even begin to tell you what it was like. It’s an insufferable situation, to think about the little girls. And to know that these parents who had four children, now they have two. It weighs on you all the time.
Narrator: First Yitzchak and then Michael were disconnected from the machine. Their hearts are beating regularly. The big test will be if they can breathe on their own and return to consciousness.
Dr. Manor: “Yitzchak, say hello! Yitzchak?”
Narrator: On Wednesday, the staff meets and decides to wake up Yitzchak.
Doctor: Test result 7444
Dr. Manor sings: Halleluyah! Halleluyah!
Narrator: The test of the gases in the blood is good, soon they will remove the breathing tube.
Dr. Manor: Everything is fine! He is breathing on his own! Breathing perfectly, the tube is out.
Narrator: The parents Michal and Shimi get up this morning from the shiva, by the graves of sisters Yael and Avigail they receive the good news about Yitzchak’s recovery.
Michal Gross [speaking on phone]: Yitzchak, Eema’s on the way, I’ll be there soon. You’ll wait for me, right?”
Narrator: By the time the parents arrive, Yitzchak is breathing on his own and the medical staff is at his side.
Dr. Manor to Yitzchak: Good job! That’s it, beautiful! Champion, champion of champions!
Narrator: Messages with the good news are sent to whomever is not on that shift, and everybody is thinking about the parents making their way from the shiva to the hospital. From darkness to a great light. More long, exciting minutes pass until the parents run into the ward. Yitzchak responds immediately to his mother’s voice.
Michal to her son, Yitzchak: Great! What a hero!
Narrator: And the entire staff stands by, speechless.
Reporter asks Dr. Gaby Amir, heart surgeon: How do you feel? You are here, seeing the first child…
Dr. Amir: It is very, very, very exciting. But we are attempting to remain patient. Because we still have another child to fight for. And we won’t be completely happy until we see both of them leaving the hospital…
Narrator: There is a mixture of joy, worry and hope in preparation for tomorrow, when they will try to wake up Michael. And nobody knows how he will react. It was evening, it was morning, another day passes.
Etty Nechushtan, Nurse: We are waiting and praying that everything will work out, with G-d’s help.
Reporter: Praying? Really?
Etty: Of course, what do you mean? They go together, right? We try to do our part, and up there He is doing, it seems to me, most of the work.
Reporter: That’s the deal, huh?
Narrator: Now people are stirring around the bed of Michael, the staff is especially concerned about neurological damage.
Dr. Manor: Michael originally underwent a more difficult process that included resuscitation at Shaarei Tsedek. Therefore, we have more concerns about him.
Narrator: Michael provides pleasant surprises, like his brother. He also awakens, and responds to his surroundings. The staff breathe a sigh of relief.
Dr. Ovadi Dagan: Director of the Intensive Care Heart Unit: We felt more tension regarding him than Yitzchak, primarily regarding his neurological condition.
Dr. Manor: Michael has been removed from the respirator, he appears excellent. There is now a talking doll for him to communicate with, he’s listening to stories, he hears.
Narrator: Also for the staff members, the tension had accumulated, and it’s impossible to be apathetic…[shot of Nurse Etty crying with relief]
Nurse Etty: If I sit and cry beside the child the entire day, then I won’t be able to function. So sometimes I attempt to do a “switch” and say “OK, now I’m on the technical side of things…” I’m doing suction, I’m turning him over, I’m giving him medications. Everything needed from a technical point of view. But there is no way not to be broken, there’s no way not to speak with the mother and know that (choked up with tears)…it’s impossible.
Staff Doctor: When you work in a place that is very intense, with high levels of tension and stress, what keeps you going on a daily level is your fellow staff. This is a staff that has blossomed together, in some cases for twenty years. Some of us are new… with great camaraderie….
Narrator: Yitzchak’s already not in his bed, he’s sitting in a chair and they are reading him a story. Michael is recuperating and the tests show he is getting stronger.
Dr. Beerak: For children who are completely healthy to arrive in such an extreme condition, and then within several days you see them in shape like this, well, it’s simply impressive!
Narrator: 8 days after they were rushed here with their lives in immediate danger, the Gross brothers are out of danger.
Dr. Schiller: Senior doctor at the Intensive Care Heart Unit: This is the extreme of the extreme of the extreme of the spectrum of modern medicine. This is what we get up for in the morning, just for this.
Narrator: This is everyday life for them. The doctors, the nurses, and technicians who fight every day for the lives of these children. With a gentle touch and great humility. They are the ones who led a stubborn and determined battle for the heart of Michael and the heart of Yitzchak. But no less important, they cared for the broken hearts of their parents.