A new chance at life: Dov and his mother
A new chance at life: Dov and his motherSchneider Children's Hospital spokesperson

On Friday, Shushan Purim, Shalom Dov Ber Yona, a 13-year-old from Arad, underwent a heart transplant surgery at the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Clalit.

The surgery was performed by Prof. Dan Aravot, director of the breast and cardiac surgery department at Beilinson and Schneider, Dr. George Frenkel, director of the cardiac surgery unit at Schneider Children's Hospital, and Dr. Yaakov Katz, director of the anesthesiology department and the operating room at Schneider Children's Hospital.

he boy is recovering from the operation at the Schneider Children's Intensive Care Unit, headed by Prof. Ovadi Dagan. He is in stable condition. The follow-up treatments are being performed by Dr. Nili Zucker, a senior physician at the Heart Institute at Schneider Children's Hospital, headed by Dr. Einat Birk.

The boy had suffered from a heart muscle disease. Several years ago he received a pacemaker and was trasferred from Soroka hospital to Schneider. A few weeks ago his condition began to deteriorate and he required an urgent heart transplant to save his life.

Heart transplants for children are rare. In 2018, one heart transplant was performed at the Schneider Children's Medical Center. It is especially rare to wait such a short time to receive a heart transplant.

According to his mother, Keren Yona, "I thank the donor's family with all my heart, for giving my son Dov the opportunity to continue living a normal life. It is not easy for them. We share their sorrow, our hearts with them. Later, I would very much like to meet with them."

In addition, a 5-year-old girl from Ofri, who suffered from renal failure, received a kidney transplant and was treated in the dialysis unit at Schneider Children's. The girl is recovering in the intensive care unit at Schneider Children's, headed by Dr. Elhanan Nahum.

According to her mother, Odelia: "On Thursday evening we received a phone call informing us that a kidney was found for Ofri, after waiting more than a year. Our hearts are with them. It is an act that is not obvious to make. A huge thank you to the family, we share their deep sorrow."

The Schneider Children's Medical Center is the hospital that performs the vast majority of pediatric organ transplants in Israel. Since its establishment, more than 600 heart, lung, liver and kidney transplants have been performed in infants, children and youth, with success rates similar to those of the best medical centers in the world.