Doctors from Israel and Gaza Work Across Borders to Save the Life of a Gazan Child

HOLON, Israel, Dec. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This month an 11-year-old boy from Gaza, Mazen, became the 6000th child saved by Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), Israel’s internationally renown humanitarian organization.

During the first few weeks of his life, doctors in Gaza diagnosed the child with a complicated congenital heart condition that would require multiple medical procedures to save his life. As he grew older it became more difficult for him to breathe and he needed emergency surgery to survive.

Two doctors in Gaza, Dr Abdalraheem Said and Dr. Hany Al Faleet, are responsible for screening all Gazan pediatric cardiac patients from the southern area of Gaza at the European Gaza Hospital. There are no centers for interventional cardiac treatment in Gaza, and the caseload of critical cases has been made worse by border closures due to the Covid pandemic.

"A major challenge for us is that we are not only responsible for ‘doing the medicine’, but for helping patients cross borders for care," said Dr. Al Faleet, who referred Mazen to his Israeli partners at Save a Child’s Heart in Holon, Israel.

In Israel, Mazen was treated at the SACH International Pediatric Cardiac Care Center at the new Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital. There, he was first screened by Dr. Alona Raucher Sternfeld, Director of Pediatric Cardiology, and then treated in the catheterization lab by Dr. Sagi Assa, Head of the Interventional Pediatric Cardiac Care Unit. Dr. Assa and his team ae pioneering the use of closure devices that enable complex cardiac catheterization procedures to close holes in hearts without the need for open heart surgery. The SACH center and hospital are the only institutions in the region performing this procedure on cases such as Mazen’s. Mazen’s life was saved through the support of the German foundation, Ein Herz für Kinder.

Save a Child’s Heart is dedicated to improving pediatric cardiac care in developing countries around the world through surgery, medical missions, and medical training. It has saved the lives of six thousand children from sixty-three countries. Fifty percent of the children are Palestinian children from Gaza and the West Bank, and SACH holds a weekly cardiology clinic for Palestinian children at its facilities in Holon. In 2018 SACH received the UN Population Award in recognition of its role in helping transform pediatric cardiac care in Africa.

Media contact:
David Litwack

SOURCE Save a Child’s Heart