Ayala Mandria, 20, was unable to stand on her two feet all her life, until she arrived at the Beit Levinstein Rehabilitation Center.
Mandria was born in Ethiopia and has suffered from poliomyelitis and ALS since childhood. In order to move, she was forced to lean on crutches and chairs.
"Treatment or a wheelchair were out of the question. There was no money," she says. "I was jealous of my friends who went to school while I always stayed at home. I felt I was alone in the world."
About five months ago, Mandria immigrated to Israel with her family. "My parents always told me that in Israel I would stand on my feet," she says. And she didn't know how right they were.
Upon their arrival, Mandria was sent to the Beit Levinstein Rehabilitation Center, and only three months after starting treatment she can already be seen running around on the grass.
"It's an amazing and rare success story," says Hannah Schneider, the orthopedic ward's chief psychotherapist.
Alexander Friedman, a senior physician, explains how the "miracle" happened: "We started from scratch; it was like working with a baby."
And how does it feel for a grownup to be standing on both feet for the first time? "Suddenly the floor seemed very far. It was scary," Mandria says. "Now I feel like I can do anything."
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