Little four-year old Sophia Mordkovitch looks like any other child who attends our day school in Kishinev
A MIRACLE IN KISHINEV
Little four-year old Sophia Mordkovitch looks like any other child who attends our day school in Kishinev, but little Sophia is different — she is deaf and has never heard the human voice or been able to express herself in speech. After extensive tests, doctors inÂ Kishinev gave their prognosis: Sophia would never be able to hear. Moldovan medical science was simply not advanced enough to provide the treatment which could possibly restore the child’s hearing.
When Rabbi Abelsky, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Kishinev and Moldova heard the dire prognosis, he refused to accept it. He knew that Rabbi Aryeh Leib Heintz, the Chief Rabbi of Utrecht, Holland had always been there before for the Kishinev Jewish community; Rabbi Heintz just might be able to provide a solution this time as well. He just might be able to make connections with the medical experts who could help Sophia.
Rabbi Abelsky was right on track. Rabbi Heintz sprang into action, making the calls and setting into motion the connections which would facilitate Sophia’s treatment. Soon, mother and daughter were flying to HollandÂ to consult with top hearing specialists.
Although in Kishinev they had been given no hope, mother and daughter returned from Holland with surprising and wonderful results. After minor surgery and the with the use of a hearing aid, Sophia came home hearing for the first time in her life. This tremendous success not with standing, Sophia’s transition to the world of hearing will not be easy. She will need extensive specialized training to help her learn to function in a audio-phonic world. Sophia, who never heard the human voice, never learned to speak, although she is physiologically perfectly capable of speech. Follow-up support has been arranged to help Sophia complete her transformation. A program, specially-tailored for her, has been prepared by hearing experts from the Academic Hospital in Utrecht and the Effatha Institute for the Deaf in Voorburg. Forty pages of instructions, meticulously translated into Russian, have been prepared for the Russian speech therapists who will work with Sophia forÂ many months to come.
Although only G-d can provide a miracle, His “back-up team” is composed of loving, caring human assistants who have raised the necessary funds to facilitate the trip, provide the medical care and the follow-up that will make this medical miracle a living reality for Sophia and her family. Professor L. Daniel Meijers and Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs raised the approximately $15,000 to cover the price tag of treatments and associated expenses. Of course, transportation and translation services were also needed, not to mention the all-important moral support, which fueled the effort with courage.