Life-saving surgery in Israel for Indonesian toddler

By Jennifer Lipman, May 17, 2011
Kevin, photographed after the operations (Photo: Efrat Nakash)

Kevin, photographed after the operations (Photo: Efrat Nakash)

An 18-month-old boy from Indonesia is recovering in hospital after Israeli doctors at Tel Aviv's Wolfson hospital performed life-saving surgery on his heart.

Kevin, who also had surgery in Beersheva for a double cleft lip and palate, was flown to Israel for the vital medical treatment worth a total of nearly £8,000 by the charity Save a Child's Heart (SACH).

The Israeli aid organisation was founded in 1995 with the aim of bringing children from poorer countries to Israel for crucial operations.

After Kevin was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease as a newborn baby, a friend researched aid groups and contacted SACH for help. Four months later, he and his family were on a plane to Israel.

After the heart surgery the doctors were moved to operate on Kevin's cleft lip after noticing that it had affected his sight, because the stigma meant he was rarely taken outside in the sunlight.

Dr Akiva Tamir, head of pediatric cardiology at the Wolfson Hospital said: "Mending his heart was simply not enough.

"A child deserves to play outside, and to do so with dignity."

To raise money to support similar work, a SACH team will climb Mount Kilimanjaro this summer.

Last updated: 12:26pm, May 17 2011