After around 8 months in hospital with coronavirus 62-year-old Desmond Solomon returned home to find a huge show of support from his community.
Israeli music playing in the background, the Essex community, alongside his family and friends were standing in the rain outside of his house, socially distanced, to welcome Desmond back in his ‘homecoming’.
In a video on Mr Solomon’s return, Rabbi Odom Brandman, from Buckhurst Hill’s Chabad Lubavitch centre, said the community had “come out in strength” to support Desmond and his family. As Mr Solomon was lifted out of the ambulance, people shouted “We love you Desmond” as others applauded his return from hospital.
Rabbi Brandman told the Jewish News it was “one of the most moving scenes I have seen in a long time” and that “there wasn’t a dry eye there it was so heart-warming”.
Mr Solomon was admitted to hospital with a suspected stroke when it emerged that he had contracted coronavirus. He was then moved to a High Dependency Unit, but his condition deteriorated and he was moved to ICU where he spent eleven days on a ventilator.
It wasn’t until two months after he was first admitted that he was then able to move back onto a normal ward when his condition improved.
Desmond’s wife, Andrea, and his children Emma and Daniel weren’t able to see him while he was in hospital, instead heaving to Facetime or speak on the phone.
Having been one of the closest community members since Buckhurst Hill’s Chabad centre opened, when Mr Solomon was able to stand up in hospital, he would occasionally join the centre’s pre-Shabbat Friday nights on Zoom, where Rabbi Brandman said there was “mass excitement” as everyone waved and Desmond waved back.
Mrs Solomon told Rabbi Brandman that the family had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the community and that while there is still a long way to go in Desmond’s recovery, they are grateful to have him home.
Andrea Solomon was so grateful for the care her husband received from the NHS that she organised personalised cupcakes for NHS staff to say thank you, while working with her local Indian restaurant to get 20 free meals delivered to those on the ward.
Mrs Solomon told the hospital: “I’ll never forget the feeling though of joy and relief when we finally got the news we wanted – that he was going to be discharged. The day he was clapped out by the staff was amazing”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.