A Long Way from Home: Faten’s Story

Bethlehem — Faten, a Palestinian social worker from Gaza, was 33 weeks pregnant with twins when she traveled to Bethlehem to attend a training course.

Upon her arrival to Bethlehem, Faten suddenly found herself in preterm labor. As the only hospital in the region capable of delivering and caring for high-risk premature babies, she was immediately rushed to Holy Family Hospital to save the lives of her twins.

Fourteen hours later, Faten gave birth via emergency c-section to her two sons, Muhamad and Abed. The twins were immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for highly specialized care. Faten was anxious about the cost of medical care and concerned for the lives of her premature twins. She was alone with no place to stay in Bethlehem, exhausted from her C-section and homesick for her family in Gaza.

The staff at Holy Family Hospital immediately jumped into action, embracing Faten and easing her emotional distress by providing her and the babies with the best possible care.

Holy Family Hospital’s social workers offered her pastoral counseling and explained that the Hospital’s Poor Case Fund would cover all healthcare costs. Holy Family Hospital provided Faten a room with a shower and three hot meals a day while her sons were being cared for in the NICU. When Muhamad was discharged, he joined his mother in her room, where they stayed for three weeks waiting for Abed to be strong enough to travel back to Gaza.

Faten, grateful for the care and support that she and her babies received at Holy Family Hospital, exclaimed,
“I was afraid of everything, and I was very worried about my newborn babies while my family was far from me, but Holy Family Hospital provided me and my babies with the best medical care and psychological support that led me now to feel as if my family were with me.

She continued,
“You are my family now and I will never forget you. It was God’s will to put me in your hands so that my babies would have the best medical care. They will have an excellent quality of life thanks to your efforts. I will never forget that you gave me a safe and warm place in the hospital close to my babies to wait for their discharge from the NICU.”

Holy Family Hospital, the Order of Malta’s hospital in the Holy Land, remains committed to protecting life and offering care to the most defenseless amongst us. There is always room at the Inn.