Five patients saved with organs from soldier killed in motorbike accident

The soldier had been a champion boxer who gave up his sport to enlist in the army.

July 31, 2017 16:00
2 minute read.
Soldier Ofek Klugman and his mother

Late soldier and champion boxer Ofek Klugman and his mother. (photo credit: COURTESY OF OFEK KLUGMAN AND FAMILY)


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Six organs donated by the family of a 19-year-old soldier killed over the weekend in a motorcycle accident have saved the lives of five people aged 15 to 65.

Upper Nazareth resident Ofek Klugman – an Israeli champion boxer – who went into lower-brain death in the accident, had preferred to enlist in the IDF to devoting himself to boxing and joined the Golani Brigade’s Egoz commando unit.

Neurosurgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center fought for four days to save him – performing two operations on his brain, but they were unsuccessful and they had to declare his death.

His Russian-born family, engineer Gennady and Miriam, a WIZO nursery teacher, immediately agreed to donate his organs.

The first recipient is a 65-year-old man who received the heart at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer; the second was a 51-yearold man who received the liver at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. The two lungs were donated to a 35-year-old woman at Petah Tikva’s Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Campus. One kidney went to a 47-year-old man at Beilinson, while the other was transplanted into the teenage boy at nearby Schneider Children’s Medical Center.

All the organ recipients were on Monday reported to be in good and stable condition.

His sister-in-law, Giselle, told The Jerusalem Post that Ofek had gone on Friday night to a draft party for soldiers in Haifa, along with a younger teen, on his motorbike.

At the Somech junction, the vehicle smashed into a metal fence at a turn.

Afek was unconscious, but the younger boy woke up and called for help. Neither had drunk any alcohol, she said.

“He was an excellent boxer; he won third place in the European championships.

But he was so proud to go into the army and be a part of Egoz, although it was for only four months. He had two previous motorbikes, and on the second, he had an accident that caused a leg injury.

He worked at his father’s company to earn money and he bought another motorbike without us knowing, even though there was a car in the driveway,” said the sister- in-law. “We begged him not to go on motorcycles, saying it was too dangerous, but all his friends had them, so he wanted to do it.”

The Israeli-born Ofek attended the Kadoorie High School and studied mechanical engineering. His elder brother recently finished IDF service.

Gennady said they did not hesitate to donate his organs, as “he was such a giving person.”

If the family members are permitted, they would be happy to meet the five organ recipients.

Meanwhile, in another transplant, one of seven children donated one of his kidneys to his father, a Beduin in the village of Hura near Beersheba. Dr. Abed Abu Ghanim, a surgeon at Soroka-University Medical Center who performed the live-organ transplant, said public awareness about the importance of donating kidneys has increased. It was inserted into the father’s body via minimal laparoscopic surgery. According to Israel Transplant, 847 Israelis are waiting for a donor kidney.

Mamdoch Alataona, the father, suffered for years from renal insufficiency and had undergone dialysis at Soroka for over a year. His son Daesh was found suitable to donate the organ. Both the father and son have already been discharged from the hospital and sent home.

Prof. Solly Mizrahi, head of surgery at Soroka, said that they were able to save the father despite the fact that he suffered from a variety of chronic disorders.

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