Five Iraqi children to get lifesaving heart surgery here

Shevet Ahim: After Post report, Interior Ministry expedited the approval for the surgery.

surgeons operating 298.8 (photo credit: Courtesy)
surgeons operating 298.8
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Interior Ministry director-general Ram Belnikov, in response to a Jerusalem Post query on Thursday, immediately approved entry to Israel for a three-week-old Iraqi boy in need of lifesaving heart surgery to be treated at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Sam Muhammad and his mother had been waiting in Amman for the permission. Belnikov also approved the entry of four other Iraqi children in need of heat surgery and four other escorts. Muhammad was born with transposition of the great arteries - the same diagnosis as the very first Iraqi infant rushed to Israel, in November, 2003, for an ultimately unsuccessful surgery - and must be operated on within the next several days. The complex surgery is not available at a high level in neighboring countries. The parents, from Sulamaniya, Iraq, will pay the expenses. The Shevet Ahim voluntary organization is facilitating the case. Dr. Avraham Lorber, a cardiologist at Rambam, has already agreed to accept the child for surgery at the hospital, which will be performed by Sheba Medical Center pediatric surgeon Dr. David Mishali. A Shevet Ahim representative said that after the Post's query, he was amazed by how fast the Interior Ministry acted. "People stayed after their work hours and gave us approval that would otherwise have taken a long time," he said.