Jordanian Child Arrives in Israel for Transplant of Brother’s Marrow

Less than two weeks after her father wrote an appeal for help to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a 12-year-old Jordanian girl arrived in Israel on Monday to undergo a bone-marrow transplant.

Heba Shaban, who suffers from a rare blood disorder, was accompanied on the trip from Jordan by her parents and her 10-month-old brother, from whom she will receive the marrow transplant.

In the letter to Rabin, which was written the day after the historic signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty on Oct. 26, the girl’s father, Rushdi Shaban, requested medical treatment in Israel after the girl’s Jordanian doctors said they could not help her.

The Jordanian family crossed into Israel from the Allenby Bridge, which links Jordan to the West Bank. From there they traveled to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where she will undergo the transplant.

The head of Hadassah’s bone marrow transplant center, Professor Shimon Slavin, said Heba had a good chance of surviving, noting that all recent transplant patients “are alive and well, without exception”

Israel has offered to pay $6,600 toward the cost of the $40,000 procedure. A Hadassah spokeswoman said it was unclear who would pay the remaining costs, but she noted that fund-raising efforts are currently underway.

NEXT STORY