Gaza boy, 11, becomes 6,000th child saved by Israeli humanitarian group

Mazen, an 11-year-old boy from the Gaza Strip, this month became the 6,000th child saved by the Israeli humanitarian organization Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), with support from the German foundation Ein Herz für Kinder.

Shortly after Mazen was born, doctors in Gaza diagnosed him with a complicated congenital heart condition that would require multiple medical procedures. As Mazen grew older, he began having difficulty breathing. To survive, he needed emergency surgery.

There are no centers for interventional cardiac treatment in the Gaza Strip, and the caseload of patients in critical condition has worsened under the COVID pandemic. Two Gaza-based doctors, Abdalraheem Said and Hany al-Faleet, are responsible for screening all Gazan pediatric cardiac patients from the southern part of Gaza at the European Gaza Hospital.

“A major challenge for us is that we are not only responsible for ‘doing the medicine,’ but for helping patients cross borders for care,” said al-Faleet, who referred Mazen to his Israeli partners at Save a Child’s Heart in Holon, Israel.

In Israel, Mazen was treated at the SACH International Pediatric Cardiac Care Center at the new Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital at Wolfson Medical Center. Upon arrival, Mazen was examined by Dr. Alona Raucher-Sternfeld, director of pediatric cardiology, and then treated in the center’s catheterization lab by Dr. Sagi Assa, head of the Interventional Pediatric Cardiac Care Unit.

Read More: JNS