A Beit Shemesh mother penned a vulnerable letter to the public Sunday morning, telling the “special and challenging” story of her daughter Yael, who suffers from severe epilepsy.
According to mother Sara’s retelling, Yael had an entirely normal upbringing. She had no health issues until shortly after her bat mitzvah, when she endured her first seizure. Not long afterward, the epilepsy was diagnosed.
In the years that have followed, Yael’s condition has steeply worsened. Recently, the family went through with their best option: major surgery. As the surgery day arrived, Yael and her siblings were both nervous for the procedure, and excited for the promise for a better future. One can only imagine their grief when the surgery was not only unsuccessful, but caused the teenage girl’s health to decline. Each seizure has the potential to kill. She now endures a shocking 20 seizures a day.
Doctors have strongly advised the family to fly to the United States as soon as possible, so that Yael can receive life-saving surgery from a specific expert surgeon in Cleveland. With a mother who stays home to tend to her epileptic daughter, and seven other siblings living off of one income, however, this is a sheer impossibility. The Friedman parents have had to do the unthinkable: To tell their daughter that they cannot save her life.
Mother Sara has opened an emergency fund with a lofty goal: To raise enough money to get her daughter the surgery which would reverse her deterioration. “We want our happy Yael back,” she writes.
Sara blesses all donors with healthy children of their own. And for those whose kids are able to do such basic tasks as attend school, or be unattended, she has the following powerful words: “Please hold them close and kiss them, because we never dreamed that this would happen.”
Donations to save Yael’s life are being collected here.