Yazidi toddler undergoes heart surgery in Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A child from the persecuted Yazidi ethnic group of northern Iraq received heart surgery in Israel.

The 17-month-old, Wisam, and his father arrived in Israel in June in advance of the surgery, which was performed Sunday. Wisam was born with congenital heart disease.

Wisam’s family — including his mother and two newborn twins — is among the 200,000 Yazidi families besieged by ISIS, the militant Islamist group, on Mount Sinjar in Iraq. As of Wednesday, Wisam’s father had not made contact with the family.

Dr. Lior Sasson performed the seven-hour surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, outside of Tel Aviv. It was funded and organized by Save a Child’s Heart, which brings children from developing countries to Israel for cardiac treatment.

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