Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Back on Her Feet and Ready to Dance

Zelda Moyal is known around the Jewish Home's Eisenberg Village (EV) Campus for her positive attitude, beautiful smile, and love of dancing. When constant lower back pain began to limit her activities, she saw a doctor who ordered an MRI. The test revealed a bone was touching a nerve, causing discomfort all the way to her feet. The doctor gave Zelda three options: surgery, cortisone injections, or a life of pain. After consulting with her doctor at the Home, Dr. Nallini Gnanadesigan, Zelda opted for surgery.

On April 25th, the surgery was successfully performed. The next evening, Zelda was transferred from the hospital to the Home's Ida Kayne Transitional Care Unit at Grancell Village for rehabilitative care. Imagine her surprise, and pleasure, when she entered her semi-private room and found her next door neighbor from the Eisenberg Campus! Yes, neighbor and friend Rhoda Weinberg was there to welcome Zelda as she began her road to recovery. Rhoda recently fractured a vertebra and was on the mend herself. Now, they could offer each other support and encouragement as they recuperated together. "We talked all the time, sometimes in Yiddish," says Zelda. "She helped me to not get depressed."

As part of Zelda's rehab, she received physical therapy twice daily. The morning session focused on how to do regular activities, such as dressing, sitting and standing, without twisting her back. In the afternoon, she walked and did balance exercises. "Everyone there was wonderful," says Zelda. She worked closely with physical therapy assistant Jeff Rale. "He took care of me and is a good person," says Zelda. "I learned a lot from Jeff." Zelda realized that much of her recovery was on her shoulders. "I was always a good kid…I listened to my teachers. Now I listened to what the therapists and nurses told me."

And while Zelda was learning from her therapists and nurses, others were learning from her. "Zelda exuded positive energy and passion for life," observes Daisy Mann, director of rehabilitation. "She was motivated to regain her independence in rehab and get back to her life at Eisenberg Village." When Daisy visited EV with Zelda for home assessment, she was amazed at the welcome Zelda received. "People were overjoyed to see her! She exemplifies the expression, "others don't remember you by your actions but by how your actions make them feel."

At the end of May, Zelda returned to her home — and life — at Eisenberg Villages and hopes to be up and dancing with joy in the near future.

For more information about rehabilitative care at the Jewish Home, please contact the Ida Kayne Transitional Care Unit at (818) 774-3308 or visit our website at www.jha.org/about/transitional-care.asp.