A cancer patient expected to live only a few days when his doctors discovered a tumor blocking a pulmonary artery. He was operated on successfully by a team of Israeli and American surgeons at Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem and given a new lease on life.

The surgery involved patching the patient’s heart, which had been compromised by his aggressive form of cancer. When initially the patient had trouble breathing, his doctors treated him for asthma, but this did not help. By the time the tumor on his heart was discovered, doctors felt it was too late to save him; however, the family refused to give up and searched for specialists who could intervene. Prof. Oz Shapira, Director of Hadassah’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was about the 22nd physician to examine the patient’s medical report. He concluded that there was a surgery, endorsed by global medical practice, which could save the patient. A similar surgery had been performed eight times by Dr. Michael J. Reardon from Houston, Texas. Dr. Shapira contacted him and Dr. Reardon agreed to come to Hadassah. Within days, Dr. Shapira and Dr. Reardon jointly operated on the man, removing his pulmonary trunk adjacent to the right ventricle. They stitched a patch from a donor organ bank and implanted an artificial pulmonary artery. The next day the patient was breathing on his own!