NAHARIYA, Israel —The hospital clown had seen and heard enough. After making the rounds of children’s wards for months in Western Galilee Medical Center in northern Israel, he had met many injured and sick children — some with terminal diseases, others with severe, life-threatening injuries. His job was to bring out a smile. But after he met one 9-year-old Syrian boy, the clown briefly considered hanging up his hat for the last time.
“The boy arrived severely injured and in complete shock,” said Sara Paperin of the International Affairs department of the hospital. “He kept describing over and over again how he had seen his brother decapitated in front of his eyes,” she recalled, saying the boy was devastated at the thought that he had lost all of his family. “After meeting the youngster, the hospital clown called me and said, ‘I just can’t do this anymore.’”