May 29, 2013

Shalom, may the peace and presence of the Lord be with you today!

First of all, we want to thank  those who wrote to the Ministry of Defense on Ami's behalf concerning the National Insurance issue, it is bearing fruit. We have had responses from officials who are supporting our request to make an amendment to the law to categorize incidents of Jewish terrorism against Jews as a hate crime, thereby making the victims eligible for compensation. We also want to thank those who responded to the needs for Ami's medical costs, we are so very grateful and encouraged.
  
LASER SURGERY!

Ami's recovery since the tragic incident five years ago that changed his life forever, has been characterized by many struggles and many miracles. The latest miracle has been the discovery of the best laser treatment probably in the world to improve the scars that cover his body from his neck to his toes as a result of the burns and resulting skin grafts, and the shrapnel and blast wounds caused by the bomb that exploded in his hands on Purim Eve, March 20, 2008.
 
This miracle began when David saw a video on Fox News about a laser treatment being used in the U.S. to treat soldiers who were victims of bomb blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We sent it to Ami, and he said that if we could find a way, he would want that kind of treatment. I was able to get in touch with the hospital where the doctor who developed the method works, which is in San Antonio, Texas, but because it is a military facility, Ami couldn't be treated there. I begged their PR department which was handling my request, to give me the doctor's email that we had seen on the video,  and after some hesitation they did. I wrote to him, explaining who we were and some of Ami's story, and I asked him to tell me if he knew if this technology existed in Israel, and if not to recommend another doctor anywhere in the world who could treat Ami. He answered us back within 10 minutes! He told us that there were only two other doctors on the planet that he would recommend who do this treatment on the level that he does it - and one was in Miami where my mother and brother and his family live!! I got in touch with the treatment center there, and found out that this doctor has a passion for what she calls "burn survivors". People come from all over the world, including Israel, for treatment at her center. As It turns out, she and the doctor in San Antonio worked together to develop this unique and effective treatment. Ami was able to visit the center during his Christmas break from school, and we arranged for his first treatments to begin this May.
 
The laser treatments are very intensive, but are nothing short of miraculous. We can see that we will need patience, but this process will greatly improve the scars which cover his whole body, and will make a difference in Ami's life. Basically, the lasers vaporize the scar tissue layer by layer, at the same time punching microscopic holes in the skin so the collagen which lies beneath the skin's surface can come up and cause new skin to grow. The procedure was done in two stages on two different days because of the large area that needs to be treated. The first day the doctor worked on the large skin grafts that cover his stomach and inside of his left thigh, which is also slightly concave because muscle was blown out of his thigh from the blast. She injected something into the thigh which can puff up the area to make it look more natural as well.
 
The second procedure took place a week later on both his upper and lower arms (shoulder to wrist), where he has extensive scarring from shrapnel, and his whole right thigh down to his knee, also badly scarred from shrapnel wounds. She also worked on his left foot where he is missing parts of 3 toes and which is very badly scarred.
 
The doctor works with 32 lasers, but she used three lasers on Ami so far - one to lighten the color, one to vaporize the scar tissue, and the 3rd, which works at 100 degrees C (212 F), to smooth the area. It is an amazing process - after his treatment in August, the scars will continue to improve for a whole year, as the collagen which is activated below the surface continues to produce new skin.- but as always, it is a process of seeing how the body will heal itself over time. The doctor told us that one of the lasers is manufactured in Israel, but is not used for skin surgery here - Israeli patients are referred to her all the time. She said it is so powerful that if calibrated differently it can be used for military use.

FAMILY EFFORT
 
Here is Ami getting the first laser procedure. They put numbing cream on him, and wrapped him in saran wrap for an hour! Then he was given oral pain killers and was awake for the whole procedure, watching the process with interest. I was allowed to be in the room and watch also. Afterward, we went home and had to carefully follow a detailed procedure to keep him completely sterile for two days to avoid infection, which included showers several times a day, vinegar and water compresses, oral antibiotics and topical creams, which he will have to use for a year. He will be wearing compression garments  for a year also for as many hours a day as he can as this helps to flatten the affected area and prevent further scarring.

Ami and I returned home to Israel last week. We had a wonderful, blessed time with my family who all pitched in and helped us sacrificially, for which we are eternally grateful. My Mom (90 years old) opened her home to us, providing us with a non stop love, moral support and generously feeding the whole gang that descended on her home. My brother who lives in Miami with his family took us back and forth to the treatment center, an hours ride each way with ever present traffic and delays. He took many hours out of his schedule, with his full support and good will. He is so happy that Ami is getting helped in this way, and we are so grateful for his love and positive, helpful attitude. And my older sister came all the way from upstate NY to help us for five days before and after the first treatment, providing prayer, moral support, and cooking! She is a world class cook, specializing in healthy, whole food so we ate very well. She has also developed a course for healthy eating for diabetics, and another on eating healthy on a budget! It was truly a family effort which made it even more precious and memorable.

PRAYER REQUEST
 
At the end of last year, David began having trouble with gall stones. He had his gall bladder removed by laparoscopic surgery and recovered well. My otherwise healthy husband who has never taken any medication and hardly ever saw the inside of a doctor's office, was then advised to get a colonoscopy. The results showed a tumor which the doctor said was more than a polyp, and when the biopsy came back showed that it was one stage before cancer. He has to have it surgically removed which will take place God willing on Thursday June 6 - we would appreciate prayer for this. It is also laparoscopic surgery. We are thankful that it was discovered early, another miracle!

Also, we received word that Jack Teitel's lawyers have submitted an appeal to the Supreme court to appeal his sentence on the grounds that the District Court that sentenced him didn't respond to some of the psychiatrist's conclusions that he is mentally ill and was not responsible for his past actions. Of course, there were also psychiatrists whose conclusions were the opposite, that he is mentally fit and is accountable.The court hasn't accepted the appeal yet, as far as we now.  Our lawyer explained to us that Teitel's lawyers are appointed by the State of Israel, and it is in their interest to appeal and continue to be paid for dragging the case on.  If the lawyers were hired privately, it would be too expensive to appeal. Please pray for continued grace, and for Teitel's sentence to stand.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4382315,00.html

As always, we thank you for standing with us in love and prayer, and for your prayers for Israel and the Body of Messiah - please check out our website - www.amiortiz.com for the latest updates and articles.
 
In Yeshua the Messiah,

Leah
 
"But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Colossians 3:14-15

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