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The country's oldest kidney dialysis patient, Yisrael Bergman, celebrated his 98th birthday last week at the place that has kept him alive for the past five years - the nephrology unit at at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.
Only a minuscule number of people who need their blood to be cleaned of waste due to chronic kidney failure survive to such an advanced age.
When Bergman was hooked up to the tubes of the machine, he was presented with a large caramel-and-white-decorated cake with 99 candles - one to grow on - and the heartfelt wish "Til 120."
He was joined by his 85-year-old wife and his son, who were very moved by the surprise that hospital staffers arranged when they learned of his birthday.
Dr. Noa Berer-Yanai, who runs the nephrology unit, said at the party that after such regular visits for dialysis, Bergman and his wife have developed strong and warm ties with the hospital.
"We were so happy to surprise with a cake and birthday wishes somebody who certainly has seen many things in his long life," she said.
Every month, some 200 patients with kidney failure undergo dialysis at Hillel Yaffe, making the dialysis unit one of the largest in the country.