A 5-year-old boy from Gaza was brought on Sunday to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, where Israeli doctors performed open-heart surgery to save his life, making him the 3,000th child from the Palestinian territories to undergo such surgery in Israel as part of an Israeli NGO’s program.
Amir Yichya Mabchuch from Jabaliya, just north of Gaza City, was brought by Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli NGO that, since its foundation in 1995, has helped more than 6,000 children travel from abroad with their families for the critical operations.
The children have hailed from over 65 countries, most of which are in the developing world, and many of which have no diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.
Mabchuch was first diagnosed with a heart defect at two months of age. His mother, Maha, had brought him to be seen for a viral infection, when the family’s doctor spotted a blockage in one of the infant’s coronary arteries.
From the very beginning, “we understood that Amir would require an operation to fix the defect,” his mother said.