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Cedars-Sinai Helps Young Patient Celebrate Her Bat Mitzvah

Young Patient Celebrates Her Bat Mitzvah

Twelve year-old Numa Beron, a longtime Cedars-Sinai patient who has spent much of her life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, recently celebrated her Bat Mitzvah, a coming of age party for Jewish girls, in the medical center chapel.

Beron was born with lissencephaly, a degenerative brain malformation leaving her unable to stand or speak. When Numa was born, doctors told her parents, mother Iiana and father Vlad, that their daughter likely wouldn’t survive past three years. But Numa has continually shown her strength and determination to live.

“The Beron family are very fierce advocates for Numa,” said Gary Goulin, MD, associate director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, who has cared for Beron for seven years. “It’s clear they just love and adore her, visiting every chance they get and taking turns spending every night with her at the hospital.”

Family, friends, former teachers and much of Beron’s Cedars-Sinai medical team attended the Bat Mitzvah celebration, complete with unicorn balloons and decorations, a buffet dinner, rainbow cupcakes and a special video compellation of Numa's life.

Dancing was a central part of the celebration, as was a touching ceremony in which people close to Numa placed a rose in her lap and shared a few words of love. Her parents brought a family Torah scroll to the party and at one point in the evening, put Numa's hands around it. The moment brought tears to the crowd, and to Numa herself.

“This celebration was a way to show appreciation to everyone in Numa’s life,” said Iliana Beron. “By the grace of God, we are here and celebrating this miracle and this beautiful day.”

Pediatric nurse Ramona Abney said that the Beron family, are more than patients to Numa's care team.

“We love Numa and we love her family,” said Abney. “They are members of our family.”