Thursday, November 27, 2014

Israeli-Canadian injured in synagogue attack could be in hospital for months

Synagogue attack victim Howard Rotman
Canadian-Israeli dual citizen Howard Rotman in an undated family photo. Rotman is in critical condition following a deadly attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.
CTVNews -An Israeli-Canadian injured in a horrific attack on a Jerusalem synagogue remains in a coma, may be in hospital for months, and will likely never work again, his family says.

Howard Rotman, 53, lost his right eye after suffering stab wounds to the head, face and arms during the attack, which occurred during morning prayers one week ago.

Rotman is being treated in the intensive care unit at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, his brother, Steve Rothman. The brothers spell their last names differently, after Howard changed it to a traditional Hebrew spelling.

Doctors tried to bring Rotman out of his coma last week, but were unsuccessful, Steve said. The doctors believe that his brother has brain damage, he added, but the extent is unknown.

Rotman lost his right eye in the attack, and his right arm is being held together by a plate.

The family does not know what the future holds for him, or even if he will survive, Steve said.

Five people died, including four worshippers and an Israeli policeman, after two Palestinian cousins stormed the synagogue with meat cleavers, knives and a handgun. Five other people were injured in the attack.

The two assailants, identified as Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, were killed in a shootout with police.
Meanwhile, Rotman's family -- his wife Risa, and their 10 children -- are in need of financial support in the wake of the attack.

Rotman was the family breadwinner, and worked as a manager at the state controller's office, his brother said.

His family believes that he will never work again.

Local community groups and social services are providing assistance to the family. Back in Toronto, extended family members have also started a fundraising campaign, which raised $59,000 in two days.

Rotman's sister will fly to Israel on Wednesday, while Steve will travel there in January.

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