This is a extremely tragic story. You can’t read it without feeling your heart just break into two. I just can’t help but feel their pain. It’s just so very hard to read a story like this.
Last Thursday, upon returning from a week long family vacation in Orlando, the family made an impromptu barbecue with their neighbors the Tokayer family. With children from both families running back and forth between the adjoining back yards, it was no cause for alarm that four-year-old Aliza was missing from her yard. But when she wasn’t at the Tokayers’ either, Moshe first checked her bed, then, without really knowing why, ran straight to the pool.
The Schwab family has a top-of-the-line pool fence that completely surrounds their pool and is kept securely locked at all times. When the fence is open for swimming, Aliza and her twin brother Yoni wear flotation vests to prevent accidents.
Aliza was at the bottom of the deep end, unconscious. For some reason, she had removed her vest; it lay on the side of the pool a mere six inches from the edge closest to where she had gone in. Doctors later estimated that she had been under water for ten to fifteen minutes.
Schwab jumped in the pool, pulled her out, and began administering CPR. Paramedics were called and Aliza was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where it took doctors thirty minutes to get her heart beating again. They began to administer adrenaline to keep her heart going.
“They said that within a day or two her organs would begin to fail and that we should be prepared for her passing,” Schwab said. “But slowly, slowly, they weaned her off the adrenaline and her heart kept beating. She has a feeding tube, but in the doctor’s words her internal organs are pristine.”
Asked about any improvement in brain function, Schwab responded simply, “not yet.”
Now the family is fighting Florida officials to keep the young girl on life support.
MIAMI (WSVN) — The devout Jewish family of a brain dead 4-year-old girl insist on keeping her on life support, but doctor’s say Florida law will not allow them.
Aliza Schwab has been on life support at Jackson Memorial Hospital for about two weeks since a near drowning in her family’s pool. Several doctors have declared the little one brain dead, and claim that, by Florida law, the girl has to be taken off life support. “She’s my daughter and I love her, and I’ll do anything I can to keep her here with me, even if I have to go the farthest mile for it. Whatever it is, I’m willing to do it for her,” said Esther Schwab, the girl’s mother.
Holtz Children’s Hospital released a statement standing behind their care: “Our hearts go out to the Schwab family during this very difficult time. As always, Holtz Children’s Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality medical care possible to all patients who enter our doors. The medical staff at Holtz, along with the pediatric bioethics committee, has been working with and informing the Schwab family on every aspect of the care delivered to their child.” The family refuses to abide that law and says that their religious beliefs dictate that for as long as the young girl has a heartbeat, she still has a life worth holding on to. “All the parents are asking for is the possibility to hope and the opportunity to have that hope actualized in trying to keep Aliza alive,” said Menachem Mayberg, the family’s attorney.
The family is now making a public plea to anyone or any facility that would like to help keep Schwab on life support under their medical vigilance to please contact their attorney.
As of the latest report, despite this supposed Florida law, the hospital has agreed to delay forced disconnect of the life support.
You can watch the video of the latest update on CBS here.
If anyone is reading this that can help, please e-mail me and I will help you get in contact with the family.
The name for Tehilim is:
RUCHAMAH ALIZA SARAH CHANA BAS ESTHER LIBA
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