A birthday is always a good reason to celebrate. This year, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and this week, as part of the festivities, we decided to celebrate the birthday of a very special woman – the first baby born at our hospital’s maternity ward, which opened in 1963. Her name, believe it or not, is Hillela, and she and her mother have a special story to share.
"When my mother started having contractions," says Hillela Golan, now a resident of Beer Sheva, "she naturally went to the closest hospital – Hillel Yaffe. When she arrived, the staff told her that the new maternity ward in the hospital was not ready for expectant mothers and was scheduled to open the following day. She insisted on staying there instead of traveling further north to the maternity ward in Haifa. She delivered me there and officially "inaugurated" the maternity ward. I grew up hearing this story, which is why I contacted the hospital. I thought that they might be interested."
Prof. Motti Hallak, department staff, and hospital administration present Hillela with
a picture that includes records of her birth, articles from the day of her birth, and
a baby shirt as a souvenir
This amusing story, combined with the fact that her mother, Ilana Yerushalmi, chose a unique name like Hillela for her daughter, after the hospital in which she was born, gave Hillel Yaffe Medical Center the idea of inviting the two to celebrate Hillela's birthday at the hospital, as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. The medical archives team at the hospital checked the registry to confirm the story, and on the first line of the first page of the registry, they found documentation of the first delivery at the hospital – Mrs. Ilana Yerushalmi, resident of Hadera, delivered a daughter on March 19, 1963 at 8:30 a.m.
Hillela and her mother touring the Hillel Yaffe delivery rooms
Hillela arrived with her mother and her sister to blow out the candles on her birthday cake. She visited the maternity ward and met Professor Motti Hallak, Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Haim David – Delivery Room Director, as well as the nursing staff in the department and the delivery rooms. The hospital administration and the nursery and NICU staffs joined the celebrations as well. Everyone was very moved by the joyous occasion. The hospital even prepared a cake with candles, to make the birthday party complete, and presented a special gift to the hospital's first baby – a picture that incorporates the first line of the birth registry from 1963, local newspaper articles from 1963 that reported the grand opening of the new maternity ward and Hillela's birth, and a modern-style bassinet label with her mother's name, Hillela's birth weight, and date of birth. Finally, Prof. Motti Hallak presented her with a shirt that is given out in the maternity ward that says, "I was born with love at Hillel Yaffe."