Dr. Or
Dr. Or Hadassah Hospital

In the Przemyśl refugee camp on the Ukraine-Poland border, staff from Hadassah Medical Center continue to help the many refugees in need of medical treatment.

Hadassah has for many months staffed the clinic, established by Hadassah, in cooperation with the Israeli organization NATAN. In recent weeks, Hadassah International, recruited additional volunteer medical teams from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Poland and Switzerland to work with the Israeli team in the clinic.

"Every day, hundreds of refugees, forced to abruptly leave their homes, pass through here. Many did not receive proper medical treatment on the long difficult roads they travelled. We extend any assistance we can, in any way possible," explains Jorge Diener, Executive Director of Hadassah International.

In the camp clinic, the staff makes sure to perform initial treatments. When complex surgeries or procedures are required, the exhausted patients are referred to hospitals in Poland.

But this week, an unusual case arrived when Alexandra, a 10-year-old Ukrainian girl, came with her family to the clinic limping and suffering from severe pain. The family told the medical staff that, for two months, she has suffered from an ingrown toenail, which caused a deep inflammatory condition, accompanied by severe pain that no longer allows her to step on the leg. She has been suffering and crying non-stop for weeks.

"The mother told us that Alexandra was examined several times while the family was on the run. Everyone understood how much she was suffering, but no one wanted to take responsibility and operate on the girl under the complex conditions of the refugee camps," says Dr. Omer Or, an onco-orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Or immediately upon arrival at the refugee camp, on his first round of volunteering and on his first shift in the clinic, met the 10-year-old girl who suffered greatly. He realized that this time, it was impossible to postpone the procedure.

"I collected the appropriate equipment that we have in the camp clinic, thanks to the donations that Hadassah raised from all over the world. I prepared a sterile field, and, no less important, I explained to the girl and her parents what I was going to do," he says. "The procedure was performed under local anesthesia. The leg was treated and bandaged to maintain sterility. Antibiotics were administered to prevent the formation of postoperative infection. It was teamwork. We all joined the procedure performed under non-routine conditions. When the staff in the clinic instructed her and her parents on the ongoing care required of them, even when they were on the road, it was evident that the parents were relieved.

But the most amazing moment for me," says Dr. Or with a smile, "was when the girl's eyes filled with tears as soon as I finished the surgery. She and her mother did not stop thanking me for the treatment that finally, after months, stopped the severe pain in the leg.

After three days, Alexandra returned to the clinic for a check-up. The area looked great, in the process of recovery. This mission was accompanied by many complex and exciting moments," the doctor concludes. "I am proud of Hadassah Medical Center for establishing this clinic that has helped thousands and created working relationships with Polish staff in the local hospitals that will allow us to continue working together for the benefit of all patients in the region."

Before the family parted from the staff of the Hadassah clinic, Alexandra's mother told Dr. Or: "We will remember you forever, for the rest of our lives. You reached out when we needed it most, at the difficult moment when our daughter could not cope with the terrible pain. We did not see any light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you very much, Dr. Omer. Your kindness will continue to accompany us on