Medical Magician Not A Clown

 

 

Michael Tulkoff Does His Magic

Michael Tulkoff (?Magical Michael?) immigrated from Baltimore to live as a haredi Jew in Jerusalem and to bring magic, not clowning, to young patients.  While he lived in Baltimore, Mr. Tulkoff, former President of the SAM Chapter in Baltimore, immigrated to Israel four years ago and immediately used his skills to entertain and help some of the country?s most seriously ill and injured children.

 

The story in today?s Jerusalem Post brought tears to our eyes.  We eschew saccharine features about those we are supposed to admire ? we are cynical and hard.  But to read the final vignette in this story (and you?ll have to go to the article yourself to read it) and not become irrationally emotional was impossible. 

 

Mr. Tulkoff works in Jersulaem?s Alyn Hospital, the national pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation center, as well as Tel Aviv?s Dana hospital and Safra in Sheba in Tel Hashomer.  Many of his young audience will never leave their institutional home.  The patients include the chronically ill and severely injured from terrorist attacks. 

 

Mr. Tulkoff is careful to describe himself as a ?Medical Magician? rather than a clown.  He has nothing against clowns, “But I don’t want to be a hit-and-run clown who makes a joke and gets a laugh but has no long-term effect. Can you imagine if I did clown antics before a disabled teenager or young adult. He would tell me, and justifiably, ‘Get outta here! This isn’t for me.’ The difference between what I do and what a clown does is that I don’t come just to lift spirits.?

 

Mr. Tulkoff meets with attending physicians to design the best way to meet the medical and psychological goals for the patients.  ?For example, a child with a severely degenerated nervous system who would otherwise sit around like a vegetable is motivated through my relationship…

 

 

Michael Tulkoff Does His Magic

Michael Tulkoff (?Magical Michael?) immigrated from Baltimore to live as a haredi Jew in Jerusalem and to bring magic, not clowning, to young patients.  While he lived in Baltimore, Mr. Tulkoff, former President of the SAM Chapter in Baltimore, immigrated to Israel four years ago and immediately used his skills to entertain and help some of the country?s most seriously ill and injured children.

 

The story in today?s Jerusalem Post brought tears to our eyes.  We eschew saccharine features about those we are supposed to admire ? we are cynical and hard.  But to read the final vignette in this story (and you?ll have to go to the article yourself to read it) and not become irrationally emotional was impossible. 

 

Mr. Tulkoff works in Jersulaem?s Alyn Hospital, the national pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation center, as well as Tel Aviv?s Dana hospital and Safra in Sheba in Tel Hashomer.  Many of his young audience will never leave their institutional home.  The patients include the chronically ill and severely injured from terrorist attacks. 

 

Mr. Tulkoff is careful to describe himself as a ?Medical Magician? rather than a clown.  He has nothing against clowns, “But I don’t want to be a hit-and-run clown who makes a joke and gets a laugh but has no long-term effect. Can you imagine if I did clown antics before a disabled teenager or young adult. He would tell me, and justifiably, ‘Get outta here! This isn’t for me.’ The difference between what I do and what a clown does is that I don’t come just to lift spirits.?

 

Mr. Tulkoff meets with attending physicians to design the best way to meet the medical and psychological goals for the patients.  ?For example, a child with a severely degenerated nervous system who would otherwise sit around like a vegetable is motivated through my relationship with him to pull himself up and take a few steps each day.”

 

The Jerusalem Post article relates Mr. Tulkoff?s visits with several patients both Jew and Arab.  Mohi is a five year old Arab boy suffering from myasthenia gravis.  Mohi has lived his entire life in the hospital after his mother abandoned him ? he has not been adopted by any family other than those within Alyn Hospital. 

 

?Sitting on a wheeled chair, Tulkoff holds the speechless boys hands and ?lures? him forward with his harmonica music and tricks. As Mohi’s respiratory muscles weaken quickly, the magician manually forces air into the plastic tube in his throat like a man pumping a bicycle tire. Thanks to these exercises, Mohi actually walks – a feat he was unable to perform only a few weeks ago.?

 

It is a wonderful article about a great service pioneered by Mr. Tulkoff.  Read the full story here.

You can visit Magical Michael?s website here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply