November 20, 2022

3000th Palestinian Child Treated

Israeli Doctors to Save the Life of a 5-Year-Old Boy from Gaza who Requires Open-Heart Surgery to Correct a Heart Defect

The boy will arrive in Israel from Gaza tomorrow with his grandmother, through the work of Save a Child's Heart, ahead of the operation at Wolfson Medical Center early next week.

Five-year-old Amir Yichya Mabchuch lives in Jabalia, north of Gaza city, with his parents and younger sister. At the age of two months, Amir caught a virus and his mother, Maha, took him to the local family doctor, Dr. Youssef Alaf. Dr. Alaf checked Amir and identified a heart defect resulting from a blockage in one of his coronary arteries. “Already at that age we understood that Amir would require an operation to fix the defect,” his mother said.

Young Amir’s condition has a significant impact on his quality of life. He is unable to perform simple actions like other children of his age and must always be careful when exerting himself; he is not allowed to run for any length of time and even walks can place potentially life-threatening strain on his heart. 

Amir has grown up under constant medical supervision. During one of his visits to his doctor, the family was told about the Israeli NGO, Save a Child’s Heart, that brings children from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to Israel for life-saving operations. “When the doctor told us there was a possibility for Israeli doctors to carry out the complicated operation Amir needed, we were so happy. Everyone here in Gaza talks about how Israeli doctors are the most professional in the world and that they can be trusted completely. The doctor put us in contact with the organization, and that was how we started the process toward open-heart surgery.” 

Amir underwent open-heart surgery this Sunday at the Wolfson Medical Center. “Amir is very excited ahead of the operation and he is happy to be going back to Israel. Last time, when he came for a preliminary checkup at Wolfson Medical Center, he was so happy with all the games at the hospital and he told me that he wants to stay in Israel, he doesn’t want to go home to Gaza,” Amir’s mother says. 

Amir is the 3,000th child from Gaza and the West Bank to come to Israel for lifesaving surgery supported by Save a Child’s Heart. Since it was founded in 1995, Save a Child’s Heart has brought thousands of children to Israel from all over the world for lifesaving heart operations, with an emphasis on children from the developing world and countries without diplomatic relations with Israel. Over the years, over 6,000 children have come to Israel from 65 different countries near and far.

Amir's treatment was a success he is now healing at the New Save a Child's Heart Children's Hospital. Dr. Hagi Dekel and medical team worked together to save Amir's life as they do on a daily basis! 

Amir with his father and grandmother
“I know there is always tension between Gaza and Israel, but that doesn’t change my child’s story. I trust the Israeli doctors and I know they will save my boy’s life,” said Amir’s mother.
Amir at the children's Hospital in Holon