SACH Medical Expertise Saves Lives

April 22, 2020

For the first time in Israel, a 45-year-old COVID-19 patient recovered after 29 days on an ECMO machine.

Shimon Sasson was brought to Wolfson Medical Center over a month ago in critical condition. He was connected to an ECMO machine that kept him alive
for 29 days.

During this whole time Dr Hagi Dekel, one of the leading surgeons of Save a Child’s Heart and head of the ECMO machine at Wolfson, and his team, fought for the life of Sasson and treated him day and night.

"The ECMO machine was created to support patients whose hearts and lungs cannot function. We connect the patient to the ECMO machine and basically do the breathing process for them. Thanks to our work with the Save a Child’s Heart patients for the past 25 years, we have expertise in this field and Wolfson is today one of the leading hospitals in this field” said Dr Dekel.

Dr Dekel, today the Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Wolfson, was sent by Save a Child’s Heart to Toronto in 2013 for a two-year fellowship in in cardiac surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and SickKids Hospital. Upon his return to Israel as a fully-qualified pediatric heart surgeon, Dr Dekel established
the ECMO unit at Wolfson and since then dozens of Israelis as well as Save a Child’s Heart patients from around the world were saved thanks to the work of Dr. Dekel and his team.