Health

Radical brain surgery cures epileptic

By Marcus Dysch, June 25, 2009

A Jewish charity worker has had sections of her brain removed during a 12-hour operation to cure her of severe epilepsy.

Emma Kon, a member of Finchley Reform Synagogue, suffered from daily seizures that left her unable to work.

But since undergoing the radical surgery last year, she has gone months without a fit, allowing her to volunteer with Jewish Care and help Alzheimer’s and MS sufferers.

The 25-year-old, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, contracted viral encephalitis at the age of 17 and was left in a coma for three weeks.

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Bone marrow group wants more screen tests

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A year-long global fundraising campaign supporting Jews needing bone marrow matches has reached London.

Volunteers from the British Friends of Ezer Mizion, which organises bone marrow testing in Israel, were outside north-west London synagogues and shops seeking donations towards a £2.5 million UK target.

Simon Maurer of the British Friends says the campaign will enable “many more Israelis to go for a bone marrow test, which will improve the chances of Jews worldwide finding a match”.

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HSA enrages Jewish community with unpaid health claims

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Hundreds of Jewish families claim they have been left out of pocket because a leading health insurer has failed to pay out for their treatment.

They are backed by angry dentists, opticians and chiropodists who say insurer HSA has failed even to respond to applications they made on behalf of the patients.

Many of the patients are from large strictly Orthodox families in Stamford Hill, north London. They are furious at the lack of response.

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Miracle teenager says thanks to supporters

By Jay Grenby, May 7, 2009

A 13-year-old Radlett girl who recently left hospital after lengthy treatment for a rare form of cancer has thrown a thank-you party for those who have helped her.

Just over a year ago, Immanuel College pupil Alana Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer which mainly affects young people.

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Manchester Tay Sachs screening set to close

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 7, 2009

The last screening for Tay Sachs outside of London is due to take place in Manchester next week.

Screening drives for the fatal genetic disorder have traditionally been run inside Jewish schools, paid for by the Tay Sachs Screening Programme. However, the charity, run by north Manchester-based doctor of genetics Sybil Simon, is due to close when she retires.

“For the past 20 years I have run it and fundraised for it. There is no one to take this over. No one wants to do voluntary work anymore.”

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Swine flu alert teacher sent home

By Jan Shure, May 7, 2009

A primary school teacher was sent home for seven days after she returned to work from a Mexican holiday.

The reception-class teacher left halfway through the first day of term at Simon Marks Jewish Primary in Stamford Hill, north London, after telling colleagues she had been to Mexico.

Peter Kessler, chair of governors, said she came to school unaware of the swine flu outbreak.

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Get a (longer) life in Salford

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 7, 2009

A scheme is being piloted in Manchester to ensure that observant Jewish patients have the right to stay alive if they become critically ill.

The so-called Halachic Living Will allows patients’ religious beliefs to be taken into account in any medical decisions.

Under the scheme, patients can sign a legal contract to appoint a rabbi or representative who would then make life-saving medical decisions — in line with halachah (Jewish law) — on their behalf if they become mentally incapacitated.

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Cancer support service opens in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 30, 2009

Chai Cancer Care has opened the first dedicated Jewish cancer support service in Manchester, offering counselling, financial advice and complementary therapies from a newly refurbished facility within the Heathlands care village.

Eminent cancer specialist Gordon Jayson, professor of medical oncology at the Christie Hospital, is advising the north London-based charity on the development of its latest satellite service — and its first outside the capital.

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£100k in cancer aid

By James Martin, April 23, 2009

The family of a man who died of bowel cancer have helped to raise £100,000 in his memory for equipment aiding the early detection of cancer.

Hampstead property developer Anthony Glantz died two years ago aged 45, leaving a wife, Janine, and daughters Lara, Chloe and Maya.

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Memorial to dedicated doctor

By James Martin, April 23, 2009

A north London mental health centre has been renamed in memory of a psychiatrist who gave 30 years of dedicated service to patients.

From this week, the Fore Street Mental Health Centre in Enfield will be known as The Lucas Building, reflecting the contribution of Richard Lucas, who died last summer, aged 65.

The renaming was the idea of staff and patients of the Muswell Hill Synagogue member, who was awarded an OBE in 2003 for medical services. His widow Lynne was among the 100 people at a ceremony on Monday afternoon.

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