An Israeli scientist worked for paralyzed young people from all over the world

An Israeli scientist worked for paralyzed young people from all over the world

Dr. Tamar Yehuda Cohen, an Israeli scientist and an international expert on accompanying head and spine injuries on the way to a maximum life, where from Thailand there she worked for dozens of young paraplegics and now she intends to help the thousands of disabled people from the war in Gaza.

Dr. Tamar Yehuda Cohen, a groundbreaking scientist, accompanies those recovering from head and spine injuries to a full life. In addition, she professionally trains the attendants of those recovering so that they can give them maximum assistance.

Last week, the scientist returned from Bangkok, where she worked in an international framework to provide assistance to young people who were rendered speechless by a serious accident in their 20s and 30s.

Tamar Yehuda Cohen says: “These are young, healthy, strong and brave people. Until a short time ago they were full of willpower and strived for success. They were injured, harmed, broken, silent – but they are still strong and brave and full of willpower and striving for success. Their enemy now It is the paralysis, the loss of control of the limbs, of the body. Now their goal is not to be dependent on others and to perform simple daily existential actions.”

The international Israeli scientist held talks with dozens of young people from around the world in order to find out with them the first goal they are striving for. Most of them answered: “Go.”

The rehabilitation specialist, who herself dealt with paralysis and brain damage, says: “I look at them, lying in bed, paralyzed from the neck down, and I ask myself, why is only walking important to them? What about eating alone? Wiping their nose? Others, sitting in wheelchairs, with legs that have become inert lumps of flesh, and I know, that they know, that the road to walking is long, and sometimes impossible.

In the case of a severe injury to the spinal cord and to return to walking, the normal rehabilitation course stops at mobility in a wheelchair. For some, this is the right place for them to stop, to go from an injured-rehabilitating person to a disabled person who preserves the abilities he was able to build, and from there to a mature person who learns to live with his disability in the best possible way. There are those who are not ready to give up. They want to go, and they are ready to do anything for that.”

Tamar Yehuda Cohen combines innovative and ground-breaking tools in her treatment, some of which come from her personal story – when most doctors told her she would never be able to walk.

From the lowest place she shares: “What do you do when you encounter a wall? A seemingly impassable barrier? Some give up, some bypass it as they move along it, and some will look for a way to open an opening in the wall. This is exactly how our soldiers entered blocked or trapped houses. Not through the door, not through The window, but through the hole they broke in the wall. That's how they want to get to the walk as well.”

As part of her work accompanying the rehabilitation of head and spine injuries, she looks for solutions outside the box. Those in recovery and their families are also looking for an idea that can bring light and hope to the difficult situation in which they and their loved ones find themselves.

One of the cases that Tamar treated and which received wide international exposure, is the story of a young man in his 20s, Nikita. He was seriously injured by a vehicle that hit him as a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Tamar met him two years ago when he was lying paralyzed from the neck down, in the neurological rehabilitation department. He, and his partner Karina, chose not to give up and not to give up the desire to return and go. Nikita wanted to return to boxing.

d"R. Tamar Yehuda Cohen, Israeli scientist
Photography: Shlomo Cohen

In a rehabilitation process with intensive work, and the incredible and continuous support of his partner, he was able to achieve a little movement in one hand, and prove that the “complete/complete” disconnection of the spinal cord is not really one hundred percent disconnected. This was the news that led to the breakthrough.

Tamar turned to the “Myo-Clinic” clinic in the USA and requested that Nikita be operated on in order to insert a stimulator into the spinal cord, which would enable the transmission of signals to move the limbs to the point of walking and using the hands. The system was still in the clinical research stages, slow and heavy. An alternative option for surgery and rehabilitation was found in Bangkok in Thailand.

Today, less than a year after the implantation of the stimulator and the intensive rehabilitation system, Nikita makes movements with his hands and legs, can walk on his feet, with the help of a walker.

A boy named Benya, he was a terror victim, whose bullet penetrated his neck and scorched his spinal cord. Tamar began accompanying him when he was completely paralyzed from the neck down. He also worked hard, with the help of a supportive and loving shell, and he also managed to achieve some movements in his limbs, which proved that there is no complete physiological disconnection. Also her son, after nine months, walks on his feet with a tall walker, and can eat on his own with his right hand.

The rehabilitation specialist says: “Since the war, I have been volunteering, accompanying the rehabilitation of soldiers with head injuries and soldiers with spinal cord injuries. I train the attendants, their families, on how to provide them with a service that complements the strength, desire and effort they invest. Their stubbornness to not give up on their dreams And ambition is a huge driving force.

I did research regarding the surgical and programming setup that could allow them to regain movement in their limbs, after paralysis due to a spinal cord injury. Our wounded soldiers deserve that we all think outside the box. Let's be ready to break a hole in the wall to reach the goal.

In order to examine the possibility of rehabilitation in Bangkok, for severe cases of IDF and security forces wounded, it was necessary to meet with the professional and administrative staff at the Thai hospital. This was in order to examine the possibility and willingness to transfer as much of the rehabilitation process to Israel as possible.

The meetings with the staff at Verita Neuro were arranged in advance, with the help of Karina, the partner of one of the rehabilitators I accompany there. I met with Hana Charles, director of “Verita Neuro” and with the medical director – Dr. Nasir Majid.

“Virata Neuro” is located inside a hospital of a private medical chain in Thailand. The meetings included the medical aspects and the rehabilitation system required after the surgery. I made it clear to them that while the surgery can be done at their place, it is important that we can perform the entire rehabilitation program after it in Israel. We discussed the needs in location and personnel and the scope of training that would be required to train several staff members from the country.”

Tamar Yehuda Cohen has important news for head and spine injuries: “The optimal rehabilitators are those who come from a military or sports background. They know that in order to reach the goal you have to work hard and understand that progress is slow and requires perseverance and self-discipline. This innovative surgical-rehabilitation system supports the regenerative powers of The motor system and the brain. After many trainings of the body, together with the system, it is possible to significantly lower the level of dependence on signals from the stimulator. The will of the rehabilitator is a leading force in both rehabilitation and the ability to move independently.”

These days Tamar is working on a detailed plan that will be submitted to the security system, the wing of the wounded and convalescents.

d"R. Tamar Yehuda Cohen, Israeli scientistd"R. Tamar Yehuda Cohen, Israeli scientist
Photography: Shlomo Cohen

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