“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
A four-year-old from the Islamic Republic of the Gambia is all smiles as he recovers from life-saving heart surgery at the Save a Child’s Heart Children’s Home in Holon, Israel, the 4,000th child given a new chance at life by the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) organization.
“He radiates confidence and it is a pleasure to see him play with the other children from all over the world, smiling, happy and finally healthy,” said the Children’s Home in a statement.
Sanusey was diagnosed with his congenital heart defect at only three months old; however, the surgery he needed was not available in Brikama where his family lives or anywhere else in Gambia.
“After over three years of traveling back and forth to the local hospital for testing every other week, his doctor began looking for a way to get Sanusey the surgery he desperately needed,” the Save A Child’s Heart website states.
“Thankfully, the Chairman of the Zionist Foundation UK and Ireland, Paul Charney, stepped in and made the connection between Gambia and Save a Child’s Heart. With his help contacting Israel’s Ambassador to Gambia Paul Hirschson, Save a Child’s Heart was able to bring Sanusey and three other Gambian children to Israel for surgery,” the website says.
According to SACH Children’s Home, Sanusey’s emergency flight to Israel “would not have been possible without the help and support of SACH UK and SACH Switzerland, who connected Save a Child’s Heart to the Sherman Trust, who co-sponsored Sanusey’s surgery, and Brussels Airlines, who helped sponsor Sanusey’s flight.”
Sanusey was one of 13 children brought to Israel from Gambia and Tanzania for the heart operation at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
With the right amount of financing secured, Sanusey and his older sister, Penda, flew to Israel on May 15 with the other young heart patients.
The next day, in preparations for the heart operations, Sanusey collapsed and stopped breathing.
“In a matter of moments, the whole medical team rushed to his aid in the examination room and began resuscitating him,” says Save a Child’s Heart. “It took over an hour and, fortunately, the medical team finally managed to stabilize Sanusey, and he was taken immediately to the Operating Theater.”
“Dr. Lior Sasson and his medical team operated on Sanusey for hours,” the charity said, while “Penda sat in the waiting room, crying and hoping for the best.”
“Thankfully, the surgery was successful,” the organization said. “Only three days after his operation, Sanusey was sitting up in bed and smiling.”
As he recovers in the Children’s Home in Holon, Sanusey’s “contagious laughter bellows through the house as he plays with volunteers and the array of toy trucks and arts-and-crafts activities,” the charity said.