Chizki Turnheim, a ten-year-old resident of Modiin Illit, was born with the rare disease of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease, a severe disease with no cure that causes the person’s brokes to break constantly.
When Chizki was born, with 50 of his bones already broken, doctors were sure he wouldn’t live long. But Chizki held on to life, remaining in the hospital until he was four. He was then transferred to a Chareidi institution but two years later, on his family’s insistence, Chizki, who is exceptionally bright, was integrated into a regular classroom. He is now living at home and learning at a 7th-8th grade level at a Breslev Talmud Torah in Modi’in Illit.
Last year, a video of Chizki speaking at a conference for school principals went viral in Israel. The Israeli public was entranced by him and he was interviewed on numerous media outlets.
In January 2020, Chizki appeared in a short video that was shown at a conference for school principals, during which he spoke about emunah and the ability to integrate every child into a regular classroom.
In March, at the beginning stage of the coronavirus crisis, Chizki appeared in a video encouraging everyone to adhere to health ministry regulations.
Chizki, who has been at home due to the coronavirus crisis since Purim, has finally been able to leave the house through a creative invention, the first of its kind in the world which allows the disabled to safely leave home.
חזיקי נרגש מהחזרה לשגרת הקורונה. צפו בדברים הנרגשים של חיזקי טורנהיים שסוף סוף יוצא מהבית בעזרת פתרון של יוסי לוי שהגה המצאה ייחודית ראשונה מסוגה בעולם להחזרת בעלי המוגבלויות לשגרת הקורונה. קרדיט: מי גלים בע''מ מכשירי סינון למקוואות. pic.twitter.com/5b1POhBiJe— יעקב מלמד (@yaakov_melamed) June 14, 2020
The “capsule” was designed especially for Chizki by Yossi Levi of the company May Galim.
In the video, Chizki says: “From Purim until now I haven’t left the house at all and I very much wanted to go to Cheder. So I asked Hashem that He find the right way for me to leave the house and He sent me good shlichim with hearts of gold – Yossi Levi of Petach Tikvah and his friends. They built me this and thanks to them I can leave my house.”
“Yes, so you too shouldn’t lose hope. Trust in Hashem and ask Him and He’ll help you with whatever you need.”
Chizki concluded his words by reminding everyone that “the coronavirus hasn’t ended. We need to adhere to the rules – it’s pikuach nefesh.”