Leonard Ariel: A Story of Success

When Leonard Ariel was born prematurely at only 27 weeks, he weighed less than two Kg. It was November 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, a difficult time for many new parents anyway… but Leonard’s early arrival meant that he had to immediately be put on a ventilator, struggling to breathe with his undeveloped lungs.

He then endured five months of traumatic treatment for lung disease, with continuous respiration and a cocktail of drugs to ease the pain of breathing… drugs that he would later need to be weaned from. 

The road to ALYN

When Leonard was five months old, he underwent tracheal surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center, followed two months later by a family meeting with Dr. Eliezer Be’eri, Director of the Respiratory Rehabilitation Department at ALYN Hospital, where Leonard’s rehabilitation was planned. His mother shares her family’s story with us:

“Surgery at Wolfson was a condition of being admitted to ALYN, so we did everything possible for Leonard Ariel to go there. Dr. Be’eri and staff showed us round, and we were so impressed, we couldn’t wait to transfer Leonard to their care. We went to pray at the Kotel (Western Wall): it was a very spiritual time for us.”

Unfortunately, treatment was delayed, as Leonard started having asthma attacks. Doctors at Wolfson put him into a coma so that his little body would stop fighting his breathing. It lasted for several months. “Most heartbreaking was our fear that he might have to be kept asleep forever,” his mother remembers.

On Leonard’s first birthday, the doctors brought him out of the coma, weighing a whopping 12 Kg – the result of massive amounts of steroids – and Leonard was transferred to ALYN to begin rehabilitation.

Removing the ventilator

The biggest treatment milestone was removing the ventilator during the day. “It changed our world completely. The little things – showering, taking trips, getting around – are all so much easier without  the burden of a ventilator.”


Leonard Ariel: A Story of Success
Leonard Ariel: A Story of Success

ALYN staff have taught them how to care for their child and his life-supporting equipment. Because of the progress he has made at ALYN, Leonard can now move his hands and feet, hold toys, eat on his own and has started sitting and moving around. After 15 months of being at Leonard’s side 24/7 – Leonard’s parents are preparing to take him home. “I'm excited that he will soon be released,” says his mother. “Thanks to ALYN, my dream of bringing Leonard home is coming true!”