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Daily Israel Report

Poisoned Siblings' Condition Improves

Brothers Yitzhak and Michael Gross, 5 and 7, continue to recover from poisoning incident at Schneider Medical Center.
By Uzi Baruch, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/27/2014, 4:44 PM

Hospital care (illustrative)
Hospital care (illustrative)
Flash 90

Schneider Medical Center reported significant improvement Monday in the condition of Yitzhak and Michael Gross, the 5 and 7 year old brothers who were victims of a fatal poisoning incident in Jerusalem last week. Their two sisters died as a result of the pesticide poisoning.

The children's medical team is said to be weighing whether or not to disconnect the boys from the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which reproduces heart and lung function for the boys. Schneider is one of the few hospitals in Israel with the machine. Close family members told Arutz Sheva earlier this week that the medical care there has been exemplary thus far. 

Parents Shimon and Michal have been both sitting shiva (the traditional Jewish mourning period) for their two girls, Yael and Avigayil (2 and 4), who were killed in the poisoning, and have been visiting the boys in the hospital. They ask the public to continue praying for the boys' recovery; their Hebrew names are Raphael Yitzchak Isaac ben [the son of] Michal, and Chaim Michael Shlomo ben Michal.

The tragedy last Wednesday occurred after an exterminator left highly toxic materials - phosphine, the same agents used in Syria's chemical weapons - in the apartment's enclosed security room, also known as the "Mamad" or bomb shelter.

Apparently, the security room's seal was less effective than the storage requirements for the chemical require, and the poison spread throughout the apartment over several days.

Rescue officials at the scene were shocked to discover that the chemical's toxicity was the highest level on the spectrum. The exterminator has been arrested and an investigation has been launched.