Thanks to Hadassah Medical Center dedication and ingenuity, two transplant patients treated in the Liver Unit have a new chance at a healthy life.

One, a new immigrant from Russia, who spoke no Hebrew when he first came to Hadassah’s liver unit, learned that he had liver cancer and urgently needed a transplant. All his imaging tests were in Korea and Hadassah had no documentation as to the development of his tumor. A lab technician named Rima came to the rescue.

Also from Russia, Rima overheard the conversation about his dilemma and decided to adopt the newcomer. Not only did she translate for him and guide him through the medical protocols, but she also took his small child home during the hospitalization to free up his wife to be at his side. Rima also contacted the man’s doctor in Korea and succeeded in getting the imaging records just in time to put him on the waiting list for a transplant. The Russian family is now celebrating the first anniversary of his successful liver transplant.

The second patient, a 39-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who came to Israel a few years ago, arrived at Hadassah very ill, alone and unable to work and support himself. Chief Nurse and Transplant Coordinator Mina Rowe recalls: “One day, we told a patient in the bed next to his that we had received a liver donation for him. The Ethiopian looked up at me with pleading eyes and asked with a sad smile if I could please find a liver for him as well.” Fortunately, Hadassah was able to come through for him too–just when he was almost beyond treatment. The man underwent a very successful transplant. “He felt so good,” Ms. Rowe relates, “that he went for a visit to Ethiopia and came back with a wife. Today he has a new liver, a new baby boy, and a new life.”

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