Yehoshua “Shuki” Pepper was crossing a Jerusalem street with an older sibling when a car ran him over. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in fair condition, but he wasn’t speaking and subsequent MRIs of his head injury were worrisome.
It was two days before his fourth birthday, as Shuki lay in bed with a fractured jaw. When word about his birthday circulated around the hospital, pizza, birthday cake, and toys were donated by staff and hospital vendors. A balloon was contributed by the Hadassah Office in Israel. Medical clowns came by to add to the cheer.
“What an unbelievable expression of love”! said his mother, Sarah Pepper, an English teacher and mother of eight. Dr. Jacques Braun, Director of the Unit, reports that Shuki’s recovery has indeed been remarkable. “Not that I’m recommending pizza and birthday cake for every patient in the unit,” he notes, “but here the combination of medical care and simcha (a happy celebration) was perfect.”