LONDON: Footage of a Palestinian man who reportedly climbed the outside of a West Bank hospital five days in a row to sit on the window ledge of the room in which his mother was being treated for COVID-19 has inspired admiration and empathy online.
Jihad Al-Suwaiti, 30, was not allowed to visit his 73-year-old mother Rasma Salema, who was also being treated for leukemia, inside a Hebron hospital because of restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. So he scaled the wall to sit outside the window of her room on the second floor.
An official from the hospital told local media: “He climbed the pipe on the building to get up to a spot … on the second floor. He spent most of his day there, observing his mother's condition from outside the window, before coming down when he was convinced that his mother was fast asleep.”
Al-Suwaiti ignored instructions not to climb the hospital and returned on each of the five days his mother was a patient there before she died. He was Salema’s youngest son, according to reports.
Al-Suwaiti's brother said: “He was very close to our mother, especially since our dad died 15 years ago. Our mother was also battling leukemia prior to being diagnosed with COVID-19 a few weeks ago. When Jihad was informed about our mother's death, he was angry and in shock. Now he seems to have accepted the fact.”
A post shared by Twitter user Mohamed Safa on July 19, with an image showing Al-Suwaiti sitting on the window ledge of his mother’s hospital room, has been liked nearly 200,000 times.
On the image of Al-Suwaiti making his precarious climb, one person commented: “This made me shed a tear.”
Another said: “Can this become any more sad when we are only able to comfort our loved ones through a window, phone or tablet? Then I am also so thankful that we can even do that. She saw her son’s face one last time — I pray she is at peace now.”