The family factor

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 14 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3740
  1. Ami Schattner, professor and head, Department of Medicine, Kaplan Medical Centre, Rehovot; Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
  1. amiMD{at}

Hayim was 22 years old, but he did not know it. Like his only brother, he was afflicted from birth by a rare genetic disorder that made him totally incapacitated, bedridden, contracted, mute, and unresponsive. Nevertheless, he had not spent a single day at an institution. Both children were cared for at home, primarily by their father.

Recently Hayim again developed high fever. This had happened several times before and was always successfully treated by our children’s hospital. This time he was admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine with bilateral pneumonia, likely due to aspiration, although he had been …

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