Eleven-year-old Shoham lights up the room when he smiles, just as he did when he was a cuddly little boy with a head full of soft blond curls. It’s still the same smile, he’s still the same Shoham – but everything has changed, and nothing is the same.
Eight years ago, Shoham was a precocious 3-year-old boy, playful, curious, fluent in Hebrew and English. He played with his baby sister Shaked, romped with his cousins, did all the things a pre-schooler is supposed to do.
But then he started having seizures, and the seizures started coming more and more frequently. He was admitted to a hospital in Boston and given medication, but the seizures kept coming, and the doctors decided to send him for brain surgery. But the surgery went horribly wrong, and when Shoham came out of a monthlong coma, he could no longer walk, eat, speak or take care of himself.
Determined to bring their boy out of this nightmare, Shoham’s devoted parents set out on the long road to rehabilitation. After months and years of physical, occupational, and other kinds of therapies – and surrounded by a warm and loving immediate and extended family – Shoham is again able to eat, walk, run, to do computer puzzles, to play some basketball. But there is no treatment center for children with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Israel, where Shoham and his family live, and Shoham still does not speak. His non-verbal communication remains limited, he remains incontinent, and he is frustrated – trapped in the prison of his mind.
After years of searching, Shoham's parents have finally found an outstanding, intensive, rehabilitation program in the United States, which specializes in helping children with TBI compensate for what they have lost. There, a multi-disciplinary team of specialists are designing an intensive rehabilitation program tailored to Shoham’s specific needs, with a concrete plan to increase his communication and decrease his dependence. Shoham’s parents, like the therapists who have treated him in Israel, know that this is where he needs to be. But they need your help to get him there: The program is very expensive, and years of therapies have eaten through their savings.
Please help us give Shoham a better future.