Air-conditioning makes the summer bearable, and while some may consider it a luxury, most of us take it for granted.
Yet for little Rivka it is a matter of life and death.
Her family recently celebrated her first birthday, but her size and weight are appropriate for a 5 month old baby. Rivka was born with Down’s Syndrome, and since her birth she has had too many close calls. The months after her birth were filled with worries, prayers and tears when her parents first found out about her heart defect, and more prayers and tears when she hovered only slightly above her birth weight and seemed unable to eat and digest her meals. The R. family have been accustomed to a very modest lifestyle for many years, and their humble income is stretched to the very maximum just to provide minimal basics for their children. The recent emergencies have left them teetering on the brink of disaster. They are one of the few families in the neighborhood that don’t have any air conditioning.
Two months ago baby Rivka was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia that had made her oxygen levels drop frightfully below normal. After weeks of treatment she was released home and the parents were advised to keep the temperature in the home stable as Rivka’s vulnerable system doesn’t seem to be able to self regulate.
Just two weeks ago Rivka underwent surgery to improve the function of her heart. She is now recovering at home. The heat in her hometown is expected to rise over 100 degrees this week, and Rivka’s pediatrician insists that that family must install air conditioning in order to protect Rivka’s fragile health, but they simply don’t have the means to do so. The doctor explained that being surrounded by heat that is above natural body temperature will endanger little Rivka, but whom can the parents turn to for help? The bank is no longer willing to offer them loans, as their debts have risen beyond their means to repay them. Rivka’s parents have turned to the social services, but were told that while they may be entitled to receive help they will have to undergo a lengthy process before any funding may be approved. The doctor warns that it may be too late.
It’s both terrifying and astounding that in our generation a Jewish baby’s life is endangered over a matter of $1800. But that is exactly the case.
Please donate generously today. Let’s give Rivka the environment that she needs to thrive.