Palestinian baby clings to life after heart transplant from Israeli child


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian baby remains in critical condition and is fighting for his life in a Tel Aviv hospital after receiving a heart transplanted from a Jewish child.

The transplant last week marked the first time that a Palestinian baby has received a heart transplant from a Jewish child, Dr. David Mishaly, chief surgeon at the Sheba Medical Center’s Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Unit, said in a statement.

The 1-year-old Jewish child died from a chronic disease last week at Sheba.

Musa, the Palestinian baby, had been sent by doctors from a Ramallah hospital to Sheba’s Safra Children’s Hospital on several previous occasions to treat and stabilize him.

“There were several miracles associated with this complicated surgery,” Mishaly said. “There is no such thing in the Palestinian Authority as an ‘organ donor or organ waiting list.’ While organ donor and waiting lists exist in Israel, there was no Israeli baby on the waiting list when the Palestinian baby, who is called Musa, was brought to Sheba in very critical condition. By a twist of fate, a miracle, Musa, was able to receive the new heart from the Jewish child, whose parents had agreed a few hours earlier to donate the heart.”

While Musa also miraculously survived the transplant surgery, his condition is still touch-and-go, since he was very sick to begin with and due to numerous complications, Mishaly said.

Mishaly said in his statement called Sheba “an island an oasis of peace, where healing is the priority and everyone, regardless of who they are is treated equally, with dignity and respect.”

Musa’s grandmother said in a statement that her family “would like to meet the family of the Jewish child in the near future and thank them for their generosity.”

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