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Eric’s Quest: Finding Hope for Alexandra’s Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in Israel

Eric Opoku is a father of four wonderful children whose life drastically changed in 2021 when his daughter Alexandra fell ill. It took doctors in his native Ghana nine long months to reach a diagnosis: stage 4 neuroblastoma.

Alexandra was deemed a high-risk patient, and doctors told Eric that, sadly, there was nothing they could do to help her. Eric refused to give up, explaining: “It was either do something or gradually watch Alexandra lose her life.” And so he decided to start exploring treatment options abroad. Following days and weeks searching online for stage 4 neuroblastoma treatment destinations, he chose Sheba after a conversation with a friend who was previously treated in the country, and spoke highly of the medical center.

He is impressed with the professionalism of the doctors, the treatment his daughter receives from the nurses, and how, despite being from another country, the staff at Sheba made sure he and his daughter felt safe, accepted and well cared for.

Eric was especially grateful for Rima, their medical coordinator, who is a part of our Global Patient Services team.

“Rima has done very well, she’s always there for us anytime we are hospitalized. Every single day she comes to the hospital and spends some time with us. If they give us a report she will make sure it is translated into English and sent to us. If there are any issues they will call her and she’ll be there. We are very grateful and she’s amazing.” 

This kind of support is monumental when going through a hard time because while Eric is supporting his daughter, he is keeping everything inside. His greatest wish is to protect and care for his family and while it’s hard to carry this kind of burden, Eric is still holding on to his strength.

Being a caregiver is hard regardless of who you’re caring for and it requires plenty of emotional strength, especially when you’re standing by your own child who is dealing with a serious condition such as cancer. But Eric had some words of advice to give to parents and families who find themselves in the same situation he’s in:

Treating cancer is like a journey. When cancer comes around it comes with anxiety, pain, and uncertainty, and most of the time you even think more not about the patient but what you are going through with the family, the financial aspects and the emotional aspects. One part of the family will be away, and the family will be separated. 

It’s not easy and I’m sure other families are also going through similar issues. I think I’ll encourage them to stand firm. I’ve seen a lot of people being cured so they should have faith that their child will survive and support them.”

With extensive experience, Global Patient Services is dedicated to a 360 approach to personalized care, making sure our patients feel secure and nurtured throughout every step of their journey to recovery. Thank you Eric for sharing your story with us and for putting your trust in the Sheba Medical Center team!

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