(photo credit: Courtesy)
The family of a 60-year-old woman who underwent a heart transplant in 1993
donated her lungs and corneas to others after she died Sunday following a
stroke. The woman, Rahel Kusilevich, died at the Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson
Campus in Petah Tikva and was buried in Rehovot on Tuesday.
Transplant announced that the lungs were transplanted at Beilinson into two
women, one 53 and the other 60 years old. The corneas, which will enable the
vision impaired or blind recipients to see, will be transplanted in the next few
days. It was apparently the first case in Israel in which a former donor
recipient who died donated major organs from the chest cavity.
At the age
of 43, Kusilevich fainted, and tests showed that she had a previously
undiscovered congenital heart defect. It turned out that she needed a
transplant. The donor was a deceased tourist whose family wanted to
anonymous, even though the Kusileviches had wanted to thank them.
operation 17 years ago was performed at Beilinson by Prof. Dan Aravot,
established the heart transplant program at that hospital, said her
Tali. Kusilevich, who ran a jewelry store in Rehovot, left a husband,
children and a grandson. She turned 60 six weeks ago.
When Rahel died and
her family members were asked for permission to donate organs, they did
hesitate, as they knew what her second heart had meant to her.
an ankle recently, and her condition declined, causing her body’s
her anti-rejection medications to become imbalanced,” Tali told The Jerusalem
. “We didn’t think she was in good enough shape to donate
organs to others,
but the hospital’s transplant coordinator and doctors said she was.
always promoted organ donation, and we were all registered with ADI
Transplant’s voluntary organization for the registration of potential