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Israeli Doctors Save 3-Year-Old Palestinian from Paralysis

May 2, 2016

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me …”  (Matthew 25:35–36)

Israeli doctors at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem recently saved a three-year-old Gazan child from paralysis, successfully operating on the boy’s rare tumor.

The tumor, which was located in the chest and neck, both within and around the spine, has never been seen in Israel and is rare in recorded medical history. 

Though benign, it had a chokehold on the spine and had invaded the vertebrae, interfering with the child’s mobility and nerve activity, and also provoking illnesses in his respiratory system.

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The Davidson Tower of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.

By the time he had surgery in March, the child had lost the ability to stand up and to look straight ahead. 

“The child arrived at Hadassah with obviously limited range of motion due to the malformation and also required close monitoring of the respiratory system because of the tumor that had spread from his chest to his neck vertebrae,” said senior orthopedic surgeon for Hadassah Medical Center, Dr. Joshua Schroeder.

The Israeli doctors discovered that the tumor had fused with one of the child’s vertebrae — necessitating that it be removed during surgery.

With a two-part strategy in mind, the doctors used weights to stretch his skeleton in order to make the tumor accessible for surgery.  The second part was a six-hour surgery to cut the tumor away from the spine.

“There is almost no documentation of this kind of repair anywhere in the world,” Schroeder said.  “Needless to say that this is the first procedure of its kind in Israel.” 

According to the JNS report, the boy was able to walk away from the hospital. 

“The doctors at Hadassah were welcoming and helpful.  They appear to be miracle workers, with the help of Allah.  We are truly grateful,” the child’s father said.   (JNS)

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This Gaza toddler underwent emergency surgery at Israel’s Rambam Hospital for a massive tumor that was pressing on her brain.  The child sits on her father’s lap as she talks to her Israeli doctor.  (YouTube capture)

Israeli doctors purposefully reject discrimination against potential patients based on nationalities, race or religion.

“Just yesterday, we treated a girl from Ramallah,” Schroeder told Times of Israel on April 27.  “Everyone here is equal.”

“There are no politics in a hospital, only people,” he elaborated, and said about the child’s family: “We hope that when they go back to Gaza they will talk about the positive sides of Israeli society.” 

In January of this year, another Palestinian child, 17-year-old Jummana from Nablus, also received life-saving surgery in Israel after a tumor in her mouth showed the consumption of “massive amounts of calcium and phosphorous from Jummana’s bones.” 

Suffering from a painful bone condition caused by these low phosphate levels, Jummana was treated at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, through the “Bring the Patient, Bring the Surgeon” program, which facilitates travel for Palestinian Authority physicians who accompany their patients through their treatment.  (The Tower)

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