4 Israelis regain sight, thanks to corneas donated by family of terror victims

“We wish for the donors to see the world’s goodness and joy, as our sweet Hallel and Yagel saw it,” the bereaved parents said.

By World Israel News Staff

The corneas of 22-year-old Hillel Menachem Yaniv and 19-year-old Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, who were shot to death last month in Samaria by terrorists from the nearby Palestinian village of Huwara, were given to four patients awaiting donation.

The bereaved parents announced the donation shortly after the attack. The procedure, carried out at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, was a success, and all four recipients have regained their sight,, according to a press release.

“Corneal transplantation is a medical operation that brings together a world of bereavement and loss on the one hand, and the excitement and joy of the recipients with restoring vision on the other. This is one of the moments that instills in all of us a sense of unity, kindness, and unconditional giving,” said Beilinson’s director of the Ophthalmology Department, Prof. Irit Behar.

“The righteous decision of the family at the precise moment of their tragedy is extremely moving,” she added.

The recipients had been waiting for a transplant for over a year. Their eyesight has been restored, “thanks to the Yaniv family,” whose “sons’ legacy continues to live on through the lives they have impacted.”

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“I’m so emotional. This was beyond my expectations. What a strong family. I am so looking forward to meeting them – just to hug them,” said 68-year-old Ziona Salzberg, one of the recipients.

“When this terrible incident happened, I looked at the TV and saw their beautiful, big blue eyes. I did not imagine even in my wildest dreams that I would get to see again thanks to them. I appreciate them and this noble act so much,” said recipient Ron Carmeli, 66.

“We were excited to receive the announcement about Hallel and Yagel’s cornea transplant this morning. We wish for the donors to see the world’s goodness and joy, as our sweet Hallel and Yagel saw it. Their good and beautiful eyes will continue to illuminate our world through these dear messengers, and we are filled with satisfaction that even after their death they were able to do good to others,” the bereaved parents said in a statement.

Hillel was studying in a joint army-biblical studies program known as Hesder and had recently completed his military service in the Navy. Yagel, a Hesder student, was set to enlist in a combat role.