Israel's national breastmilk bank, under the care of Magen David Adom (MDA), received a request from Haifa's Carmel Medical Center for an urgent supply of breastmilk for a premature infant.
The baby had been born prematurely due to a medical complication suffered by its mother, who was unable to nurse him.
Despite the fact that the agreements regarding the milk bank's activities had not yet been finalized with the Health Ministry, MDA received the appropriate permissions from the office, and immediately approved the request, making the infant the first baby in Israel to receive milk from MDA's national milk bank.
Over the past two weeks, the infant has received breastmilk from several mothers of premature infants, which went through the required test processes and was maintained at a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius.
The combination of safe mother's milk and the hospital's dedicated care brought about a significant improvement in the infant's condition.
Liraz and Gal Carmeli, the infant's parents, thanked the Carmel Medical Center, MDA, and the mothers who had donated their breastmilk.
"Only in your merit is our baby managing to eat and digest his food," they said. "We hope that our personal story will succeed in opening the door for additional babies, for whom donations from the milk bank are crucial to their survival."
"The baby was in a life-threatening situation, because he was receiving nutrition that he was not capable of digesting," said Dr. Sharon Bransburg-Tzabari, the milk bank's director. "The NICU staff acted according to medical guidelines accepted around the world, and understood that the baby needed breastmilk. After receiving approval from the Health Ministry and a supply of breastmilk for the baby, the improvement in his condition was amazing."
Dr. Ayala Gover, Deputy Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Carmel, said: "When we understood that the preemie was not managing to digest the formula and was in real danger, and that his mother was unable to nurse him, it was clear to us that we needed to find safe mother's milk for him. With the help of MDA's milk bank director, Dr. Sharon Bransburg-Tzabari and the head of the Mother and Child Department at the Health Ministry, Dr. Deena Zimmerman, we succeeded in obtaining safe donations of breastmilk, and to our great happiness, his condition improved drastically, he is absorbing it wonderfully and is gaining weight."