When “Rami,” just a few days old, was found in a box on a street in Bethlehem, someone brought him to the Bethlehem Creche, a nearby orphanage. Born with a serious heart problem, he was referred to Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem for life-saving surgery and now is recovering in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The nuns at the Creche first brought the baby to Bethlehem’s Caritas Baby Hospital, where physicians diagnosed a coarctation of the aorta (a narrowing of the major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body). Without corrective surgery, they knew he would die.
“I received a call from the cardiologist and we said we’d find space for him as soon as possible,” relates Hadassah Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Eldad Erez. “In a newborn, the heart is the size of his fist,” he explains. “We plan out the surgery ahead of time and try to be as precise as possible.” Dr. Erez reports that, following this successful surgery, Rami’s prognosis is excellent.
He adds: “I’m a father of four and, as a Dad, I feel particularly happy that a child who has started his life with the double obstacles of abandonment and a congenital heart defect will have a chance at a normal life.”