Injured toddler’s hospital discharge sparks fury

Adva Bitton, whose daughter was injured in a rock-throwing attack, says state treated PM Sharon for years, but not 4-year-old Adele

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Adele Bitton. (Courtesy)
Adele Bitton. (Courtesy)

The mother of Adele Bitton, the 4-year-old who was critically injured in a stoning attack last year, responded furiously to the discharge notice she received for her daughter Tuesday from the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center.

The written notice, signed by an attorney, indicated that the toddler coma patient’s treatment had concluded, and that she must therefore leave the hospital within 24 hours.

Adva Bitton appealed to the hospital to reconsider the decision, and turned to Health Minister Yael German and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to pressure the hospital administration on her behalf. The ministers attempted to intervene, to no avail, she said, according to the Walla news portal.

Adele has been unconscious since the March 2013 attack. Her mother was driving near the West Bank settlement of Ariel when stones were hurled at her car, resulting in a collision between her car and a truck. Five suspects were arrested in connection with the attack.

“We are not here because she is sick, but rather because Adele was injured in a terror attack, because she’s Jewish,” Adva Bitton said. “The State of Israel owes us the time and assistance she requires.”

Bitton said that since she has yet to be confronted in person by hospital personnel, the family has not made arrangements to bring Adele home and remains hopeful the issue will be resolved.

“Ariel Sharon lay in Tel Hashomer [hospital] for eight years, in a coma and on a respirator, with no improvement in his condition, and I paid for it,” she said. “[Here is] a four-year-old girl who is showing signs of life — give her a five-month grace period.”

A statement from the hospital maintained that Adele had received the best care available, and that the family had received ample time to prepare for her release. After the original scheduled date of her discharge, the hospital agreed to keep her for over a month, it said.

“Unfortunately, we cannot delay the release any longer. It is important to note that Adele’s medical treatment has concluded and there is no justification for her continued hospitalization.”

According to statements from Adva Bitton at a February press conference, Adele has remained unconscious for over a year.

Since the attack, “our life is no life,” Bitton said. “Adele is still unconscious, it hurts me to see her confined to a wheelchair, not engaging with the world.”

“She doesn’t laugh, doesn’t eat, doesn’t do anything on her own,” she added.

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