Coming Full Circle

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The story of GMC NICU volunteer Nina Shaahin.

Lina Volunteered at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Where she Spent the Beginning of her Life 20 Years Ago

This article was first posted on the Galilee Medical Center English Facebook page.

Towards the end of completing a year of voluntary civil service in Galilee Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Lina Shaahin (20) from Abu Sanan, revealed that her mother gave birth to her and her twin sister in the 35th week of pregnancy and they spent the beginning of their lives in the unit. She told the surprised staff, “Now I have come full circle.”

“We actually discovered the fact that she herself was premature by chance,” said Svetlana Sirotkin, head nurse of the unit and one of seven nurses who still work there who were there during the time Lina and her sister were hospitalized.

Svetlana explained, “A new applicant for a year of national service in the unit visited and mentioned that she was premature here herself with her twin brother. Then Lina suddenly said, I was also premature and hospitalized here, with my twin sister. It was a shock to find out, and a great joy to see how she developed and came here to contribute after so as an adult.”

Lina said that she enjoyed her year of volunteering at the NICU: “It was an experience that rose out of my desire to give back a little of what I got here. I am not sure why I never mentioned it, but it certainly was a kind of closing of a circle for me. I felt good here all year, seeing and helping the babies as much as possible to overcome their difficulties and continue on in life.”

Dr. Vered Fleischer-Sheffer, director of the NICU, was especially moved by the discovery, as she had signed Lina’s letter marking the completion of her year of civil service. “We say that working here leaves a mark on the world, and here it has a double meaning,” she said with a smile. “Lina was born and hospitalized here, went home, grew up and returned to give back to the unit and to the community, for us it’s WOW!”


You can read the full article in Hebrew here: