Saving a Life
Many of you who are volunteer drivers or just view the HWB website will have heard of Yakoub Ibhisad, the 10 year old Palestinian boy who has been undergoing dialysis at Shaarei Zedek hospital in Jerusalem for the last 7 years. All attempts to find a suitable kidney donor for Yakoub had failed and his situation seemed hopeless.
A few weeks ago a tragic accident changed Yakoub’s future. Noam Naor, a 3 year-old-Israeli boy, fell from the balcony of his home and suffered severe head injuries. When it became clear that his life could not be saved, his parents unhesitatingly agreed to donate their son’s kidneys. Because of their size, they could only be transplanted to a young child, and because of the rather rare blood type there were no childen listed in The National Transplant Center whose tissues matched those of Noam’s.
Since Yakoub is Palestinian, he was not included on the National Transplant Center database, but a sharp-eyed physician at Shaarei Zedek put the two together and with some very rapid legwork, including a midnight trip on the part of a Humans without Borders volunteer, one of the kidneys has saved Yakoub’s life.
Yaakov was operated on at the Schneider Children’s Hospital and is recovering well and can expect to lead a normal life. While Noam’s parents have lost that which is most dear to them, they will draw consolation from saving a child’s life.
It was just a couple of months ago that Yakoub and his parents, Sam and Souhela, came to the circus event organized by the volunteers of Humans Without Borders at Beth Jalla, near Bethlehem. Yakoub enjoyed all the events and especially the clown. Little could he and his parents have imagined that in a short while his life would be irrevocably changed, and that he would no longer be making exhausting trips to the hospital as many as five times a week.