NEW YORK (Apr. 26)
A second Israeli child has been flown to the United States for a liver transplant during the past two months but unlike 19-month-old Chaya Cohen of Netanya, Limor Eisner, a 12-year-old daughter of Holocaust survivors had a successful transplant in Pittsburgh on April 7 and “is really making a remarkable recovery.”
That report on Eisner of Givatayim was made in a communication to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by Jane Berkey, director of planning of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, which has mobilized the resources of the Pittsburgh Jewish community to help the child’s parents, Joel and Phina Eisner, particularly the huge costs the transplant operation and post-operative care entail.
Ronald Kottler, executive director of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service, told the JTA in a telephone interview that the total cost of Limor’s operation and post-operative treatment will range between $100,000 and $130,000, a sum totally beyond the resources of the Eisners.
Kottler said that, as of yesterday, about $67,000 had been raised by a Federation appeal, adding that, so far, more money had come from New York sources than had been raised in Pittsburgh.
CONTRIBUTION FROM NEW YORK AND PITTSBURGH
Kottler reported that the Riverside Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx, had collected and sent $25,000 for Limor, who is currently recovering from the transplant, which was performed in Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. Shaarey Tefilla Synagogue in Manhattan sent $11,000. New York City’s Bikur Cholim agencies have sent a total of $2,600,so far, Kottler said.
He said total contributions in Pittsburgh so far have totalled around $10,000, plus $1,500 collected by Israeli settlers in Pittsburgh, to be used either to meet the hospital bill or for the support of the parents who plan to stay in Pittsburgh until their daughter is ready to be taken home.
The father has been an Egged bus driver in Tel Aviv for 26 years, after entering Palestine illegally in 1947, with his wife. They had three children, a boy and two girls.
Yoram, the son; died five years ago of the same liver disease when he was 17. Doctors say it is rare for two children in one family to have the disease. The mother is recovering in a Tel Aviv hospital from gall bladder surgery and, according to the Federation, hopes to rejoin her husband and the two children in Pittsburgh.
The Egged bus company, Eisner’s employer, raised funds for the flight of Eisner and his two daughters to Pittsburgh, where Limor was promptly admitted to Children’s Hospital for tests and surgery, with hospital officials indicating confidence the bill would be paid.
Chaya Cohen has been approved for the transplant by the medical staff of the University of Minnesota Hospital and is awaiting a suitable liver donation according to Rabbi Chaim Zelikovitz of Long Beach, New York. The rabbi was instrumental in setting up a Baby Chaya Fund to defray the cost of the transplant, hospitalization and related expenses. Zeliovitz told the JTA that a March 26 report in the JTA Daily Bulletin had brought in $40,000, in addition to $50,000 collected from various sources in Israel.
The Bikur Cholim in Pittsburgh set up a fund for the Eisner girl. Kottler said contributions should be sent to the Transplant Fund, Bikur Cholim Society, 234 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.