13-Year-Old Chareidi Boy Receives New Heart From Bedouin Arab Child On Shushan Purim

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Last Friday, Shushan Purim, a 13 ½-year-old chareidi boy, underwent a successful a heart transplant in the Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikvah.

The procedure was performed by Prof. Dan Arvut, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Beilinson and Schneider Hospitals. Dr. George Frenkel, chief of cardiac surgery at Schneider and Dr. Yaakov Katz, chief of anesthesiology took part in the surgery.

The heart recipient is recovering from the operation, with the recovery being supervised by Prof. Ovdei Dagan and Prof. Rim Abed el-Chai, and the patient is listed in stable condition.

The child suffered from a heart disease which destroyed his cardiac muscle a number of years ago, when he had a pacemaker put in. Since that procedure, he has been monitored in Soroka Medical Center as well as Schneider Children’s Hospital. His condition took a turn for the worse a number of weeks ago, and he was listed as being in the immediate need for a heart transplant.

Hospital officials report that performing a heart transplant in children is quite uncommon, and in 2018, one was performed in the same hospital.

According to the patient’s mom, Mrs. Keren Yonah, “I and the members of the family thank the person that provided the heart to provide a chance for my son Shalom Dov to continue living a normal life, which is not taken for granted. We join in your loss and sorrow for your son. Our hearts go out to you. We hope that in the future we will be able to meet them.”

The donor organ became available after nine-year-old Muhmad Muhmad from the Bedouin community of Rahat was seriously injured in an accident. After life-saving measures did not work, and he was declared brain-dead, the family decided to disconnect him from life support and donate his organs to save other lives.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


10 COMMENTS

  1. It is ethically repugnant and halachically problematic for those in the Orthodox community to have no problem receiving an organ for transplant, but at the same time refuse to donate for halachic purposes. If you are willing to receive organs –and don’t find that halachically problematic–you should be willing to donate too.

  2. coffee – an even greater problem of maras ayin. The question will be asked: Would a Jewish family donate a heart to save a Bedouin child?

    The problem with heart donations is that the donor can’t be declared dead al pi halacha, since the heart tissue has to be preserved. The question of “brain death” is highly controversial – and not just with us. It is forbidden to murder a non-Jew, so is the team performing the surgery on the donor committing murder? This is one for the poskim and not for the comments section.

  3. I’m sad for the Arab family and happy for the Charedi family. It is unfortunate the author of this article called the ventilator “life support.” By doing so, the author is implying the boy was alive… that his human life was being supported. According to modern medicine and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel when the brain dies death has occured. The ventilator did not support his life. The ventilator artificailly kept his heart beating. By calling it life support familes are misled into thinking their loved one is alive and as a result don’t donate organs. Thankfully that did not happen in this case.

  4. Glatt –

    Whatever gave you the idea that Orthodox Jews do not donate organs? The highest percentage in the world of kidney donation is in Israel – with some 95% coming from Orthodox Jews. Look up Matnat Chayim.

  5. Mobico, Check your stats…while the numbers are increasing, Jews trail other ethnic and religious by a wide margin worldwide when it comes to the percentage who are willing to donate organs. I don’t know if 95% of the kidneys donated in Israel come from Orthodox Jews or not (that seems very high), but even if it were true, I do know that a very tiny percentage of Jews in Israel (and worldwide) are willing to donate organs, compared to the general population. That is the real stat you need to look at.

  6. I gave you the name of an organization, through which some 650 living donors – all Frum – altruistically donated kidneys over the last 8 years or so in Israel. Where are your stats from?
    In CHU”L many do not donate organs after death due to concern that they will go to non-Jews, which is a Halachic issue. AFAIK, this is the Psak from leading Rabbonim. Where do you get your “knowledge” that Jews in Israel do not donate organs?

  7. And Glatt, another point – do you really find it “ethically repugnant and halachically problematic” for a 13 year old boy to accept a life-saving donor heart since “there are those in the Orthodox community who refuse to donate for halachic purposes”? Should he have refused the heart and died on moral grounds?

  8. I think people are confusing living organ donation (such as kidneys) with beating heart cadavar donation (ie brain dead).
    As far as living donation, Orthodox Jews both in America and Israel are a very large percentage
    concerning beating heart cadavers Jews have a very low organ donor registration rate around the world
    The NY Times reported this past August that NY State has the lowest organ donor registration rate out of all 50 States. When the NY Times askd the gov’t agency in NY, the Organ Procurement Organization, why, they said its because of the Jews and Chinese that tend not to donate