Save a Child's Heart team attends wedding of girl they saved 15 years ago

As a show of gratitude for giving her a normal life, Sabrina invited the SACH team who saved her 15 years ago to her wedding in Zanzibar this week.

The Save a Child's Heart team attends the wedding of a woman in Zanzibar who they saved 15 years ago  (photo credit: SAVE A CHILD'S HEART)
The Save a Child's Heart team attends the wedding of a woman in Zanzibar who they saved 15 years ago
(photo credit: SAVE A CHILD'S HEART)

A young woman from Zanzibar had a full-circle moment this week when the medical team from Save a Child's Heart (SACH), who saved her life 15 years prior, attended her wedding. 

Sabrina was just eight years old when she was brought to Israel by SACH in 2007. She had been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when she was eight months old. At age eight, she travelled alone to Israel to receive heart surgery that saved her life.

Coming full circle 

As a show of gratitude for giving her a normal life, Sabrina invited the SACH team who saved her 15 years ago to her wedding in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation off the coast of Tanzania this week.

save a childs heart 521 (credit: SHEILA SHALHEVET / SACH)save a childs heart 521 (credit: SHEILA SHALHEVET / SACH)

“There are no words to describe the excitement and happiness we felt when we saw Sabrina in her wedding dress."

Tamar Shapira

Sabrina and the medical team who saved her life, including cardiologists, nurses and echocardiography technicians from Wolfson Hospital in Holon, were reunited at the joyous event. 

Tamar Shapira, SACH’s deputy executive director, was also present. 

“There are no words to describe the excitement and happiness we felt when we saw Sabrina in her wedding dress," Shapira said. "I know we played a significant part in this moment. Sabrina has grown up to be a strong, healthy woman with a full life, thanks to the surgery she received in Israel when she was eight. This surgery gave her the life she has today. She has a strong, healthy heart that will allow her to start a family and build a happy future.

"This is a story of coming full circle that you don’t hear every day, and we feel lucky to be part of it." 

Giving other children the same "happy future" 

The healthcare team travelled to the island as part of a medical mission sent to the country to examine and diagnose children with heart disease. During the week-long trip to Zanzibar they examined more than 400 children, many of whom will then be brought to Israel for life-saving heart surgery in the coming months.