Syrian baby to undergo operation in Israel

Cyprus, Israel, work together to fly two-day-old son of Syrian refugees living in Cyprus to Israel for complex heart surgery.

Uzi Baruch ,

Baby - illustration
Baby - illustration
Flash 90

A two-day-old Syrian baby born in Cyprus to Syrian refugees was brought on Sunday to Israel's Tel Hashomer Hospital for an operation.

On Friday, Cyprus' Health Ministry urgently called Israeli Ambassador to Nicosia Shmuel (Sammy) Revel, asking his aid in flying the baby, who had been born with a serious heart defect, to Israel for surgery.

Israel's Foreign Ministry appealed urgently to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) just before the onset of Shabbat (the Sabbath), to receive his permission to bring the baby and his father, a Syrian refugee, to Israel.

The efficient cooperation of all ministries involved allowed the baby to be immediately brought to Israel in an effort to save his life, Israel's Foreign Ministry said.

Deputy Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital Dr. Itai Pesach said, "In Cyprus, they do not have the ability to administer complext treatments of any kind to children, and they cannot do heart surgeries. The baby is currently in our pediatric intensive care unit, and we have confirmed that he has a complex heart defect."

"He is only three days old, and we expect him to undergo a heart surgery tomorrow or the next day. Following the surgery, he will need to remain hospitalized for some time. The baby arrived with his father, who speaks Arabic, and therefore, we are able to communicate with him. We have Arabic-speaking staff."

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad systematically targeted hospitals, Israel stepped in, treating over 2,600 wounded Syrians in Israeli hospitals, the medical fees paid for by the Israeli government.

In October, an Israeli hospital in northern Israel received a six-figure grant to help Syrian children suffering hearing loss.