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"The children we operated on become Israeli ambassadors" Israel today


Dr. Amir Krashnovich and his staff at Schneider Hospital voluntarily perform life-saving procedures on young people from all over the world

"It's science fiction," exclaims Dr. Amir Krashnovich, director of the neurosurgery unit at Schneider Hospital, as he leans over his surgeon, 17-year-old Bernarda, who came to Israel from faraway Ecuador. .

I have had such surgeries in the past, but every time I am amazed by them again, "he describes.

This is the first time Schneider has had brain surgery when the patient is in a state of wakefulness.

The dramatic procedure, which took place at the beginning of the month and lasted four hours, was performed by Dr. Krasnovich together with the entire team that accompanies Schneider - on a full volunteer basis.

Reporter: Yifat Erlich // Photo: Moshe Ben Simhon

Bernarda came to Israel as part of the KIBS (Kids International Brain and Spinal Cord Surgery) project, which aims to bring children and teenagers from poor countries to Israel who need brain surgery.

The project is led by Amir and his wife Hila: he is responsible for the medical side, she, a computer woman by profession, leads the logistics organization - from fundraising to issuing a residence visa to patients and their attendants.

"Bernarda was born with a cerebral vascular malformation, and underwent surgery in Colombia many years ago, an operation that left scars in her brain that became foci of epilepsy," Kreshnovich explains.

"As a child she was very poor. She had no social life, because every time she started squirming next to the other children and scared them very much.

"We did some tests on her, and decided on an ignorance surgery, after realizing that the source of the seizures is very close to the area in the brain that is responsible for the naming - the ability to find the right names for things."

How to saw a skull for a child while he is awake?

"The brain itself has no sensation, so the cutting can also be done with the patient's alertness. We open the skull and scalp under general, but light anesthesia. We woke up Bernarda when everything was open and ready. The day before we did a simulation with her, so she knew exactly where she was. "When she woke up. She was cordial and amazing, fully cooperated. She was just cool."

Before Bernarda's brain was cut, his mapping was performed, in which Krasnovich and his team diagnosed the epilepsy foci, and at the same time, using an electric current, marked the places where they should not be touched, because they are responsible for her ability to speak.

In front of Bernarda's eyes, the team displays pictures of objects, and thankfully, she easily pulls out their names.

Kreshnovich moves, with incredibly steady hands, the electric current generator, and Bernarda suddenly begins to stutter, then falls silent, for one particularly frightening moment.

Kreshnovich is not excited: this is just a weak electric current whose damage is momentary, now the surgeon knows exactly where the knife should not be touched.

"We were very lucky that the area of ​​the naming was really a few millimeters behind the epilepsy foci so we could cut all the foci without hurting Bernarda's speech."

Bernarda returned home a week ago, this time as a healthy girl with epilepsy apparently behind her.

She continues to keep in touch with the Kreshnovich family, sending videos and messages.

And although her speech was not harmed, she has a hard time finding the words to thank for what they did for her.

• • •

Amir (47) was born and raised in Mexico.

As a third-generation member of a family of doctors, he did not hesitate much in choosing the profession.

At the age of 26, after graduating from medical school in Mexico, he decided to immigrate to Israel, he said, out of deep Zionism.

"This is the place that all generations have dreamed of for thousands of years every time they said, 'If I forget you, Jerusalem.' So stay in Mexico and not immigrate?" He asks with a smile.

His parents and two brothers stayed to live there.

"My parents are super proud to have a representative in Israel, but it did not come without tears of longing for a white man who lives on the other side of the ocean."

He did his internship at Beilinson and Schneider Hospitals.

He met Hila (40), a Spanish-speaking Israeli with Latin roots, in Israel.

Today they live in Even Yehuda and raise three children: Eden (13 years old), Liam (11 years old) and Golan (7).

In between, they lived for ten years in the United States, for the needs of Amir's studies and advanced training.

"We were constantly looking at the country, and we just wanted to return. Four and a half years ago we did return, and I set up the neurosurgical unit at Schneider. While setting it up, it was clear to me that something meaningful and giving had to be brought into the unit. "We also met this desire with our friends in the United States, many of whom have formed associations and done a lot of good."

Thus, in the shadow of the corona, they started the KIBS project, which is still in its early stages.

Apart from Bernarda, two other children have already undergone surgery.

The first is Tiago, a baby from a tiny village in Guatemala, who was born with part of his brain protruding outside his forehead.

The monstrous appearance prevented his parents from leaving their home, and in their village there was no pediatrician, certainly not a neurosurgeon.

“The parents never got on a plane in their lives, and our friends from the US accompanied them to the airport because they had no idea what was being done there.

Tiago's mother landed in the country in a unique and colorful Native American dress.

"We operated on the child at the age of one year, in multi-system surgery, with all the medical staff doing voluntarily. It's amazing, because on medical tourism, which is conducted at non-routine hours, doctors are extra spacious, and here everyone happily volunteered. It was very exciting."

The second operation, conducted two years ago, saved the life of Angelo, a 15-year-old boy from Bolivia who lives in a village near the Amazon.

Angelo almost died of bleeding in his brain, which was caused by a vascular malformation.

The surgery, in which the damaged blood vessel was removed, made him a healthy boy.

"I just heard that Angelo graduated from high school and started university. It's very exciting.

"And we had a very special moment with his family. Bolivia has no way out to sea, so they actually never saw a sea. We took them to Poleg beach, near Netanya, where they first touched the water and sand. It was amazing."

• • •

The Kreshnovich couple does not only take care of the medical and technical envelope for the sick child and his family.

He also invites them for a personal visit to their home and tours around the country.

"It is important to us that our children are also involved and get to know the operated child and his family. And we try to show guests Israel. It is a real pleasure to see how they look at the country through the eyes of lovers. When they return to their countries, they become the country's best ambassadors. Something they could not dream of. "

And what do you dream about?

"That our project will grow. That way we will be able to save the lives of many more children."

Were we wrong?


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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-11-25

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