A Stamford Hill home for mothers with babies to recuperate after birth has been transformed into a care centre for Jewish coronavirus patients.
Local charities have rallied to provide support to those at Beis Brucha, obtaining protective equipment for staff and oxygen concentrators to help people with respiratory problems.
The centre ‑— which had been closed to mothers because of the pandemic — took in its first two patients on the eve of Pesach. “It is able to take care of people medically, emotionally and physically,” said Hindi Pesach, social affairs manager for the nearby Schonfeld Square complex for the elderly. “It is a gorgeous place with a lovely garden.”
Bikur Cholim, an Orthodox charity which supports sick people, has helped with food, while members of Hatzola, the emergency medical service, call in three times daily.
Seven oxygen concentrators were acquired from Israel.“We had some problems finding personal protective equipment but some remarkable people helped us get it,” Mrs Pesach said.
Beis Brucha’s manager, Moses Hirschler, added that the facility would support “people who cannot go home after they have had the virus — people who are too weak, or whose spouse cannot look after them.”
Although nine people could be accommodated, the most cared for at any one time was five.
Mrs Pesach said that “people only leave when they are fit to go home or when their family are set up to receive someone post-corona. Often they must be in isolation at home and not everyone has this option on their return from hospital.
“We have a doctor who checks them before they go home and we have an arrangement with Hatzola to visit them in their homes until they are completely fit.”
One woman had lost a husband from the disease. A younger woman with a child with special needs had lost her mother.
Another patient with dementia was given a room with a private garden. “Her family couldn’t come to her because she was quarantined. When she sat in the garden, she could talk to passers-by in the street.”
Mrs Pesach said there had been talk of setting up a field hospital in the hall of a local school but that was too big. Beis Brucha was more suitable.
Mr Hirschler said reports from Hatzola suggested this week that “things were quieting down”. Nonetheless Beis Brucha was getting ready to accept two new patients.