HMO Update – Sunday 11/21, 4:15PM – Iris Makler, Australian free-lance journalist


Irris Makler is an Australian born free lance journalist reporting from Jerusalem about the  Middle East.

In 2009 she was severely wounded in her face from a rock thrown at her by Palestinians in Jerusalem. She was operated on and treated in Hadassah Ein-Kerem. Back then she wrote about her experience briefly (

Recently she wrote a letter to Prof. Mor-Yosef about the treatment she received here. Iris was happy to give me permission to share her letter with you. I think we can be very pleased with it.

Ron Krumer

Director, External Relations

Hadassah Medical Organization



Dear Professor,

I am writing to thank you for the excellent care that I received at your hospital.

I’m an Australian foreign correspondent and I was on assignment covering riots in the Old City in October 2009 when I was hit with a rock in the face. It broke my jaw in three places, and damaged my facial nerves.

I was taken to Hadassah’s Mouth and Jaw department where I was treated as an emergency patient, and received follow up care, most recently last week on the first anniversary of my injury.

The medical staff were wonderful. My case was overseen by Professor Rafi Zeltser and Dr Nardi Caspi. Dr Adir Cohen wired my jaw shut. They were the kind of professionals you dream of encountering in an emergency – experienced, kind, good at their jobs, good at communicating with their patients.

The young doctors and all the nursing staff were great, as were the secretaries at the front desk, and I would like to particularly thank Sister Rivka Arha who spent a lot of time talking to me and reassuring me.

What distinguished the treatment that I received was that it was care in the real meaning of the word. The doctors and nurses knew about my case and remembered me. They kept me informed, their explanations were clear, and they recommended complementary therapy as soon as it was viable.

The decision about what treatment option to follow was not straight forward. There were two finely balanced alternatives, and the medical staff involved me in their decision making process and their dilemmas – at times it seemed they were agonizing almost as much as me.

My jaw was wired shut for 6 weeks which required follow up visits throughout. It was a difficult period for me because it was not clear if my facial nerves would revive. The doctors were frank about the consequences – a frozen face, a crooked smile – and thrilled for me when it began to be apparent that the nerves had not been severed, only damaged, and that with physiotherapy I might recover at least some of my smile.

Of course, some things went wrong along the way. But in the end, it didn’t matter because the general level of care was so high that it gave me confidence in the team treating me. I knew the doctors and nurses had my best interests at heart and would work with me to overcome any difficulties that arose.

I feel I have been very fortunate. Firstly in the incident itself — I turned my head at the split second when the rock struck. If I had been hit front on, in the skull, or the eye, the consequences could have been much more severe. But I believe that my greatest good fortune was that I was injured here in Jerusalem and not in Afghanistan or Iraq or other places where I have worked and that I was treated at Hadassah hospital.

So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. You are world class professionals and I will never forget the care that I received here from you.

Along the way, I was also very impressed with the equal treatment that all patients received, regardless of their religion or ethnic background. That was another very soothing aspect to being treated at your hospital.


Irris Makler



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