An 11-year-old boy from the Gaza Strip is the 6,000th child to be saved by the Israeli humanitarian organisation Save a Child’s Heart.
Shortly after “Mazen” was born, doctors in Gaza diagnosed him with a complicated congenital heart condition they knew would require multiple medical procedures. He underwent surgery at just two months in Jerusalem, but a hole left in his heart was not repaired.
As Mazen grew older, he suffered difficulty breathing. To survive, he needed emergency surgery. With no centres for interventional cardiac treatment in Gaza and the burden of cases made worse by border closures due to the pandemic, two partner cardiologists at the European Gaza Hospital referred Mazen to the new Save A Child’s Heart International Paediatric Cardiac Centre and Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital in Holon near Tel Aviv.
There he was treated by Dr. Sagi Assa, who heads the Pediatric Cardiac Care Unit, where they are pioneering the use of closure devices that enable complex cardiac procedures to close holes in hearts without any need for open heart surgery.
Each week, SACH holds a weekly cardiology clinic for Palestinian children at its facility in Holon where they have saved the lives of 6,000 children from 63 countries, 50% of whom like Mazen are from Gaza and the West Bank.
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