Dor Zimel (R) and Marcelo, heart recipient (L)
Dor Zimel (R) and Marcelo, heart recipient (L)Courtesy of the family, Beilinson Spokesman

The heart of fallen IDF soldier, Dor Zimel, was transplanted into the body of 56-year-old Marcelo, who was born with a heart defect.

Beilinson Hospital issued a statement on Tuesday, stating that the transplant, which was performed before the Passover Seder, was thanks to "the noble donation of the Zimel family".

Marcelo thanked the family for the donation: "I am happy for the surgery and the new life I will now get. Even before the surgery, I started to think about it. I saw that the soldier died from his injuries. It is hard to think that a soldier died and thanks to his family I have now got a new life. I want to say a huge thank you and let you know that you can be sure that I will continue your son’s strength. I am part of you. I am your family, just as you are my family."

Major (res.) Dor Zimel, 27, from Even Yehuda, deputy company commander in the 8103 Battalion of the Etzioni Brigade, died of his wounds on Sunday, after being mortally wounded from an explosive UAV that was launched from Lebanon and fell on a community center. As a result of the falling UAV, 18 others were also injured with varying degrees of severity.

Zimel was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. ICU director, Dr. Uriel Trahtemberg, reported: "The injured soldier has been on ventilation since his arrival. He suffered a severe head injury and was already diagnosed with a brain injury from the outset. After a routine medical evaluation and diagnosis, a committee was convened to determine brain death. We share in the family's grief and embrace it in its difficult time."