Mindy Engelberg of Woodsburgh submitted this story in the hope that the suffering of her grandson and his family may spare others in our community.
The last day of Yom Tov should have been a wonderful ending to a beautiful Pesach in Israel. Instead, it turned into a nightmare no parent should have to experience.
Yehudah Yosef, at the time 11-1/2 months, had been feverish and coughing for a few days. On Shabbos morning, he woke up with a scorching fever; pimples encased his tongue, and he had difficulty breathing. We rushed him to the hospital, where doctors suspected meningitis, fearing the worst.
At the time, Yehuda was lethargic and completely unresponsive. The spinal tap came back clear, and a urine and blood test confirmed a diagnosis of measles. He was scheduled to have been vaccinated the week after Pesach, and must have been exposed to a contagious individual weeks prior.
Yehudah Yosef was treated at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. The man who saved his life is Prof. Dr. Yechiel Schlessinger, head of pediatrics and an infectious disease doctor by training, and we owe him tremendous gratitude.
“This innocent baby suffered unbelievable pain through no fault of his own. Take pictures, show the world what measles can do to an innocent child.”
Accompanying this article are pictures of Yehudah Yosef before the measles struck, and how he looked during his stay at the hospital.
Yehuda Yosef’s case was very complicated, with infections in his lungs and ears. He was on oxygen, steroids, antibiotics, and IV fluids. We feared possible long-term consequences of the complications, such as hearing loss. B’chasdei Hashem, and thanks to the incredible staff at Shaare Zedek, he was released after 10 days of hospitalization. He is still on antibiotics for lingering infections.
Endless tears were shed and tefilos said for this beautiful little boy whose life hung in the balance. We are certain that Hakadosh Baruch Hu restored his health in the merit of the many who davened and stormed the heavens for his complete refuah.
Measles is an illness that was eradicated for decades. It is incredibly contagious, and can be fatal — especially for young children.
Please, please, get your children and grandchildren vaccinated! Check your own immunity with a blood titer test. Do not let your innocent children and grandchildren suffer the fate that Yehudah Yosef and his family had to endure.
With thanks to all our friends and families, and most of all to the Ribono Shel Olam.