Jordanian Girl Set for Transplant in Israel Dies Before Surgery Begins

A 12-year-old Jordanian girl who arrived in Israel last week to undergo a bone- marrow transplant has died before the operation could be carried out.

Heba Shaban died late Friday night of massive bleeding in her lungs, according to her doctor, Shimon Slavin, the head of the bone-marrow transplant center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Slavin said the young girl’s disease had been misdiagnosed in Jordan, adding that if Israeli doctors had been able to examine her two months ago her chances of a cure would have been high.

The girl’s father, Rushdi Shaban, had written an appeal for help to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a day after the historic signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty on Oct. 26.

Rabin promptly approved the request, and on Nov. 7, the girl and her parents arrived in Israel along with the girl’s 10-month-old brother, who was scheduled to provide the marrow for the transplant.

The Prime Minister’s Office subsequently helped collect $40,000 in donations from local businesses to cover the costs of the procedure, which had been scheduled for Monday.

The child’s body, escorted by her family, was returned to Jordan on Saturday.

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