(posted on March 14th 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)
Of the many incredible stories of Israel’s humanitarian efforts for Syrians over the past five years, an overlooked post on the website of Israel’s Rambam Hospital recalls what must be one of the most amazing acts of medical compassion not only in the Middle East, but in recent history. Indeed, this one incident is enough to hold up the staff and doctors at Rambam as a shinning example to be emulated by health professionals the world over.
A pregnant Syrian woman the south of Syria, in her ninth month of pregnancy, developed severe health complications. The Syrian doctors treating her at the time told her that such was the severity of her situation, that a C-section was imperative. Unfortunately, the carrying out of such a procedure would have resulted in the certain death of her unborn child. The woman was basically told that unless she received more advanced medical treatment, it was a choice between her life, or the life of her child.
Not being able to reach Damascus to the north, the unnamed woman left her family and traveled alone to the Israeli border. Once there, she was taken to the Rambam Hospital, and treated by no less of a figure than Professor Ido Solt, Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a world renown expert in high risk pregnancies.
The list of departments and medical experts involved in treating the unnamed Syrian woman’s case is long and impressive. Working with Dr Solt were Rambam’s Department of Vascular Surgery and Transplantation, Dr. Igor Kogan, an angiography expert and the Interventional Radiology Unit of the Department of Medical Imaging. A procedure was developed that could not possibly have been performed anywhere else in the region, which allowed the doctors to perform a C-section and deliver the baby in good health. After two weeks recovering at the hospital, mother and child returned to their family in the south of Syria.
No one reading the story above could possibly be failed to be moved and impressed by the amount of expertise and resources that Rambam brought to bear to treat this incredibly difficult case. The hospital itself has been mentioned many times on this blog, as a place where Syrian victims of the conflict have found life saving treatment on numerous occasions.
While countless countries and superpowers have gone to great lengths to wage war in Syria, Israel has distinguished itself by being the one country willing to take risks to treat Syrian victims of the war. As this case illustrates yet again, the level of care Syrians have been receiving in Israeli hospitals has been indistinguishable from that available to citizens of Israel itself. A Syrian woman, unable to obtain critical medical care in her country’s capital city, instead found it in a country that Arabs have been taught for generations to regard as the ultimate evil. As these dark times have proven again and again, Israel is infact the very kind of society that the Middle East needs more of. Israelis have every right to be proud of the efforts of its army and medical institutions in a time of the region’s history were very few participants have distinguished themselves in a good way.
The full story can be read here on the Rambam Hospital’s website.