A healthy lung that could not be used in Cyprus was shipped to the Rabin Medical
Center Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva this week and successfully implanted into
an Israeli who has a rare blood type.
A Beilinson medical team flew by
private plane to Cyprus to retrieve the organ, under an agreement with that
country’s medical system, which transplants kidneys into its own patients, but
not other organs. When no one in countries near Cyprus with which it also has
organ exchange agreements was found suitable, it was offered to Israel
Dr. Binyamin Medallion, a senior cardiothoracic surgeon,
headed the team that flew to Cyprus and returned with the lung.
anonymous donor was a 27-year-old Cypriot who suffered lower-brain death while
undergoing brain surgery.
The organ had to be delivered and readied for
transplant within four hours. Every minute was critical. Arrangements were made
for the pilot and plane even before it was certain that the lung was suitable
for the would-be recipient.
The Beilinson team placed the organ in a
cooler with ice and special solutions.
Funding for the project was
approved by Prof. Rafael Beyar, director-general of Rambam Medical Center who is
also chairman of Israel Transplant.
After many tense moments, the lung
was transplanted into 60-year-old Michael Merzeyev, from Tel Aviv, who suffered
from silicosis, a condition in which exposure to marble dust – during work –
destroys the lungs. He was in stable condition on Thursday, and being treated in
Beilinson’s intensive care unit.