Simcha and his twin sister, Sarah, were born to a Jerusalem couple in their early forties, after years of hoping for children.
They named the infant boy Simcha, the Hebrew word for happiness, to show their joy, even though they knew he would have a challenging beginning. Simcha needed heart surgery to correct a serious congenital defect.
When the surgeons at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem operated on Simcha, they discovered a serious lung problem as well. The only thing that could keep the baby alive while the additional surgery was performed was an ECMO machine, which provides heart-lung bypass support by taking blood from the body, oxygenating it using an artificial lung, and then pumping it back into the body using an artificial heart. (ECMO stands for “extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.”)
An ECMO machine costs $50,000 dollars and requires a large investment in training and personnel. Fortunately, Hadassah Hospital had both an ECMO and highly trained staff.
Simcha is now home with his twin sister, Sarah, and his parents. Their mom comments: “The surgical staff and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit that saved our little boy are made up of human angels. Imagine our joy lighting Hanukkah candles this year. You have given us this miracle. We can never thank you enough.”