Diplomatic relations between Jordan and Israel are not very cordial, but among medical establishments and personnel in the two countries, politics is fortunately irrelevant.
Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus have this week performed very difficult but successful surgery on a seven-year-old girl from Amman who was born with a severe and increasingly painful congenital deformity. Now she can walk and have a normal life.
Amal (not her real name to protect her identity) is a sweet girl who was born with a dislocated hip that over time left her with a severe limp and one leg markedly shorter than the other. Even after multiple surgeries, she was in constant pain that affected every aspect of her life. But her mother would not give up and made every effort to find a solution elsewhere – something or someone that could improve Amal’s quality of life.
A year ago, Prof. Mark Eidelman – director of the pediatric orthopedics unit at Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital – got a call from an American colleague. He recalls, “He asked if he could refer a case of a seven-year-old girl, a Jordanian citizen with a congenital hip dislocation, to me. The cost of the surgery in the US is high and to cut costs, my colleague suggested that Amal’s surgery be performed close by, in Israel.” Although after several unsuccessful operations in the past, she was still struggling and her condition had become increasingly complicated.” Eidelman was not worried by the complexity of the situation and agreed to take her case.
Arrival in Israel after months of complicated arrangements
It took many months to arrange for Amal’s arrival in Israel and her surgery at Rambam, but finally, a few days ago, he and his multidisciplinary team performed the complex procedure of lengthening her thigh bone (femur).
“Amal’s surgery was challenging, but we were successful, and it ended well,” Eidelman noted. “We repaired her femur with a plate, screws and an implant. Following the surgery, we immediately noticed an improvement in her condition. She can now walk again, has less pain, and is able to enjoy her life. Amal is calm and her parents are delighted. After being discharged, the family returned to Jordan, and in six weeks, Amal will return to Israel for a follow-up visit at Rambam. I am very optimistic.”
Eidelman’s unit at Rambam is the only center in northern Israel treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system in children. The hospital specializes in skeletal trauma, deformities, limb elongation, clubfoot and early detection and treatment of congenital dislocated hips.