‘Legacy of giving’: Corneas of murdered Israeli soldier allow others to see again

Ido Baruch, who ‘always gave to others,’ continues to give a week after being killed by a Palestinian terrorist.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Two Israelis can now see again after the family of soldier Ido Baruch, murdered a week ago by a Palestinian terrorist, donated his corneas in an act his mother called a natural extension of her son’s nature.

“It’s a … legacy of giving,” Einav Baruch said, “of helping another, of doing something small for someone else and making him happy – that was Ido. We feel that by donating the cornea[s], a part of Ido lives on in someone else, and this makes us supremely happy.”

Staff Sgt. Baruch, 21, had signed the National Transplant Center’s Adi organ donation card, even at his young age, and his parents honored his wishes.

The two lucky recipients on Sunday were Binyamin Goren and Aviva Ra’anan, both in their 80’s, who regained their sight in operations performed in Kfar Saba’s Meir Hospital.

“I’ve been waiting for a transplant for six years,” Ra’anan said. “I knew that the cornea was from Ido from the moment they called me. It’s very sad to hear that a young soldier died and I should receive his cornea.”

Read  Meir Kahane's grandson wounded in terror attack

The hospital’s transplant coordinator, Rachel Va’anunu, said that when they were told who the donor was, “we saw the simultaneous excitement and sadness” on both recipients’ faces.

“We were all moved by the noble act of the family, which chose to give a better life to others at such a difficult and painful time,” she said.

Baruch, a member of the Givati Reconnaissance Brigade, was killed in a drive-by shooting last Tuesday while securing an annual Sukkot holiday civilian march near the village of Shavei Shomron in Samaria. The bullet hit his shoulder then continued into his chest, causing too great a loss of blood for him to survive, although medics in the field and doctors in Meir Hospital made extensive efforts to resuscitate him.

The terrorists, who sped off in their vehicle, have yet to be caught, even as the IDF conducts a massive manhunt in the area.

Hundreds of mourners attended Baruch’s funeral in his hometown of Gedera. Speaking for the family at the time, friend Sagit Kishon also told of the young man’s generous nature and his leadership qualities.

“He was a Scout leader, training future counselors, and was always there when someone needed help,” she said. “He always led, even in the army. He didn’t make do with something simple, he always wanted to be in the highest, best place.…. In a month he was supposed to go to an officer’s training course.”

Read  IDF moves forward with legalization of 3 Israeli towns in Judea

“He brought a lot of joy” to his family, she added, as the “glue that connects his mother and father and his little sisters, who worshipped him.”