Syrian infant discharged from Israeli hospital after life-saving surgery

A Syrian baby who received heart surgery in Israel was discharged from hospital but will return in a few months for another operation.

By Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

A month-old baby born to Syrian refugees in a camp in Cyprus last month and airlifted to Israel for emergency surgery will now be discharged from Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv, doctors said Thursday.

The newborn was flown to Israel on December 23 with a life-threatening heart defect. At the time, the Cypriot Health Ministry sent an urgent request for assistance to Israeli Ambassador Shmuel Rabel. Israel’s Foreign Ministry then appealed to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, asking him to issue entry permits for the baby and his father.

The parents had fled to Cyprus to escape the Syrian civil war that began in March 2011, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions from their homes.

Prior to the baby’s discharge, the father thanked the Israeli authorities and medical staff. Doctors said the baby will need to return in a few months for additional surgery. Throughout their stay, the father and baby were accompanied by an Arabic-speaking professional team.

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the Israeli army has treated some 3,000 wounded Syrians and children needing medical care. The IDF usually facilitates their entry into Israel at night, and they are treated by army medics before being evacuated to hospitals in Israel for treatment.