Doctors from Assuta Ashdod Hospital remotely accompanied doctors in Ukraine during surgery and saved the leg of a 16-year-old girl who was hit by Russian shells in the town where she lives.
According to the publication in N12 News, the Ukrainian doctors first considered amputating the severely injured girl’s leg. However, before carrying that out, they consulted doctors at Assuta. The Israeli doctors advised against amputation and accompanied their Ukrainian colleagues in a WhatsApp video call throughout the complex operation.
According to Dr. Ron Lamdan, Director of the Children's Orthopedic Unit in Assuta, the Ukrainian doctors contacted Ukrainian-born Dr. Vadim Kapuller, Director of the Children's Surgery Unit at the hospital, with whom they are in close contact.
"Despite the limits of what could be advised from afar, it seemed that the leg could be saved and it would have been a shame to amputate it," said Dr. Lamdan.
He told N12 about what happened in Ukraine: "The girl was very gravely hurt by a shell. Her father lay on top of her, saved her - and was killed himself. She suffered a very serious injury in her back and the doctors needed help with the operation."
According to him, "Although there was enormous damage to the muscles, in our opinion, it was not right to amputate. Our consultation helped them decide not to do that and, instead, to try to save the leg. We hope that we succeeded. In the video call, they asked questions and we answered. It went on for approximately 20 minutes."
Dr. Vadim Kapuller said that the girl is now in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator after having been operated on several times. Her mother is at her side. Dr. Kapuller is trying to bring the teenager to Israel for continued treatment.
Israeli medical and mental health expertise have been applied to helping the Ukrainians in the repercussions of the war. In some cases, this has been by providing direct medical care at refugee camps or bringing the wounded to Israel for treatment. In other cases, help was provided by bringing Ukrainian mental health professionals to Israel for training in the treatment of PTSD.