To Save a Life

To save a life is considered one of the most important commandments. To do so, we are taught, is equivalent to saving the entire world. Though each life is equal, somehow saving a child seems most inspiring and important. They are our future…even when the child is not Jewish, not Israeli.
Even when it is the child of our enemies, we do our best to help. It is that, among other things, that continues to set us apart from our enemies and remind us that more than 60 years into this conflict, we continue to value our humanity.

Two special stories about our doctors struggling to save the lives of Palestinian children:

05.28.07
Gaza baby treated at Israeli hospital MDA ambulance transfers baby with heart defect from Gaza Strip to Sheba Medical Center for life-saving operation

A Magen David Adom ambulance transferred an eight-day-old Palestinian baby from Gaza to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Sunday evening.This humanitarian act took place during one of the more difficult days in terms of Qassam launchings, during which a 36-year-old Oshri Oz was killed in Sderot The baby suffers from a congenital heart defect and without proper treatment will not survive long.

He was transferred to the Erez crossing, where an MDA ambulance was waiting to transfer him to hospital ventilated and in an incubator.”We transfer patients from the Gaza Strip under fire on a daily basis,” said Moshe Vaknin, deputy manager of Lachish region of MDA. “Last week, our medics continued to treat a patient while shells were fired at the terminal at Erez. During the Shavuot holiday we evacuated another baby in an incubator, endangering our staff.”The baby is now hospitalized at the intensive care department at the Safra Children’s Hospital at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

‘No politics involved ‘Dr Dudi Mishali, head of the Department of Pediatric & congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery at the hospital, said: “The baby has a complete occlusion of his aorta. This is a severe defect, and if the child is not operated on as soon as possible he could die within a day. ‘He will probably be operated on tomorrow (Monday) and the prognosis is good.

He is currently on medication that is keeping him alive,” he added.Dr Mishali said that an average of three Palestinian babies with heart defects arrive at his department every week:

“We have daily communications by phone and fax with doctors in Gaza.There is no heart surgeon in the Strip, so they transfer all of these children, and there are many, to be operated on here.”

03.29.07
A bullet-proof Israeli ambulance entered the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday in order to save a six-month old baby in critical condition after reportedly inhaling toxic substances.

This was the first time a Magen David Adom ambulance entered the Palestinian territories since the second intifada broke out in the year 2000.

Up until now, MDA ambulances would only go as far as the IDF checkpoints, where they would pick up Palestinian patients in need of medical care in Israel.

Immediately after receiving the Palestinians’ call for help, the Civil Administration’s West Bank division called MDA requesting paramedics from Jerusalem take on the mission. Two paramedics took the call.

The paramedics evacuated the unconscious baby, just a few hours after two other babies, who went to the same daycare center as the boy, died of similar symptoms. MDA believes the babies were poisoned, but it is not clear with what or how.

Upon arriving in Ramallah, the ambulance was escorted by a convoy of Palestinian police, who accompanied it all the way to the hospital, and blocked roads to ensure it got through safely.

The MDA team reported that the baby was handed over to them in a professional manner, along with all the needed medical documents. The team was in constant contact with the Jerusalem dispatch.

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