The family of Or Ashkar, who was murdered in a shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv nearly a month ago, donated his heart and kidney to patients in need.
The heart was transplanted in Yedidya Sulimani (65), a father of four children and grandfather to 11 grandchildren, who had used an artificial heart for the past three years, whose condition had recently worsened and was in need of an emergency transplant.
Or's kidney was transplanted into Sagit Amram (52), a mother of two sons and grandmother of two twin granddaughters, who had been waiting for a transplant for nearly ten years.
Prof. Dan Aravot, the head of Beilinson Hospital's heart and chest surgery department, who performed the transplant, recalled: "Yedidya's transplant was complex since several years ago we transplanted an artificial heart as a bridge to a heart transplant that would ensure his quality of life in a certain respect. Recently, Yedida's situation worsened, and he needed an emergency heart transplant. The operation took hours since we needed to disconnect the artificial heart and connect the organic one. Yedidya received a strong heart, in good condition of a young athlete, which can help him quickly recuperate and have a long life. Following the transplant, he is already breathing independently and communicating with his family and the medical team. I am very satisfied with Yedidya's recuperation process, and we will accompany him until he returns to a quilty routine."
Dr. Ben Ben-Avraham, a senior doctor at the heart failure unit in the cardiology department, added: "Yedidya was sick with heart failure for several years. In light of his worsening condition, he had to undergo an artificial heart transplant which helped him live until he received an organic heart. In recent months, his condition worsened, so he rose to the top of the (waiting) list. Due to the tragic incident of Or Ashkar, Yedidya received a young and healthy heart."
Yedidya Sulimani and his wife were moved by the gesture. The patient said, "I was so moved when I was informed about the donation, and I immediately connected it to what I heard in the media about Or Ashkar. I am very thankful to the family.
His wife, Rachel, added: "I heard that Or Ashkar had a heart of gold. I promise his family that his heart reached a man of gold, my Yedidya. I feel their pain, and I thank them for their noble-mindedness.
Dr. Evyatar Nesher, the director of the transplants department, who performed the kidney transplant on Sagit Amram, recounted: "Sagit's transplant went as planned, she feels good and does not need dialysis. She is currently at home recovering. Our work is a nearly impossible mix of tragedy and optimism, and we try to hold on to the positive and good of the donors' noble deeds.
Sagit herself said: "For days, I followed Or Ashkar's story on television, and I prayed for his wellbeing, and suddenly it met me in my private life when they informed me that I am undergoing a kidney transplant. I waited for this for ten years. It's sadness mixed with joy, and I am very proud of his family for saving lives, and I thank them."