Miraculous! Extremely virulent virus causes debilitating infection in a 12-year-old girl


After Shaare Zedek doctors fought for her life, Zora is back on her feet again!


Zora had been playing the viola for six years. One morning, she complained to her parents of pain and weakness in her hand. They thought it was something to do with protracted playing and had no idea of the danger their daughter was in. 

A few days later, Zora suddenly collapsed and her situation rapidly deteriorated. They rushed her to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where the doctors diagnosed a rare streptococcal infection causing Necrotizing Fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), which had spread the infection all over her body.

The doctors said it was particularly virulent and could have led to loss of limbs and even death.

"This infection is characterized by extremely fast development and destructively attacks vital organs – heart, kidneys, lungs, etc.," explained Dr. Ehud Lebel, Director of Shaare Zedek's Orthopedic Department. "These patients can look as though they're completely healthy and then all of a sudden face mortal danger. The streptococcal infection spread through Zora's body and caused severe contamination in her arms and legs. We conducted an extensive examination which included draining the infected areas and necroses in both arms and a leg. We drained a lot of pus and managed to save the limbs. Without this speedy response, we would have had to amputate and I don’t know if the girl would have survived the process."

The treatment was jointly conducted by a team from Shaare Zedek's Pediatric Orthopedic Unit together with plastic surgeons. Zora was hospitalized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where she received dedicated care for close to a month. Anesthetized and ventilated, the 12-year-old was hanging between life and death in Shaare Zedek Medical Center. 

Her family and the medical staff developed a very warm and close relationship. Miraculously, following the speedy response and the subsequent intensive treatment, Zora recovered and she has since returned to a full and normal life.

Zora's parents were naturally overjoyed: "It's a huge miracle. If Zora hadn't got to the hospital in time, she might not have been with us today. We are so grateful that we got her back – a gift from God and thanks to the professionalism and dedication of all the teams at Shaare Zedek."