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Meeting of hearts: "There is nothing that can comfort us more than the knowledge that in his death Fuad saved lives" | Israel today


A month ago we brought here the story of Livy Giladi, 3 years old, who was waiting for a heart transplant next to the boy Ahmed Mahmoud Ali, who was hospitalized in her ward • In a painful twist of fate, she found a donor: the boy Fouad Mahamid, her age, who was killed in a car accident • Now Fouad's heart is beating in his chest of my heart, and this week their parents met for an exciting reunion

Livi Giladi sits in a stroller in the courtyard of the Schneider Pediatric Center.

She is wearing a floral shirt and a short skirt, her hair is braided with two pigtails.

She raises her head, peeks at the passers-by, and lies back again, asking to go for a ride in the cart.

Bella's mother (28) and Benzi's father (26) assure her that they will go out immediately.

They arrange the equipment in the cart, place the water bottle in the lower basket, and breathe deeply.

Finally, nine months after she was chained to the hospital, dependent on an artificial heart, they can actually take Libby for a walk.

Only now, after swinging between life and death and urgently needing a heart transplant, my heart received a heart.

I met them for the first time about two months ago, in an interview for an article published in the supplement "Shishab" on August 26.

I then told the story of Livy and Ahmed Mahmoud Ali (4), two smiling children full of joy of life who were hospitalized in Schneider, dependent on an external heart.

3-year-old Libby's two eyes shone, and her smile melted.

But tubes came out of her chest connected to an external heart carried in a suitcase, the Berlin Heart, thanks to which she lived.

On September 2, a week after the article was published, the exciting news arrived.

"You transplanted a heart into my heart!!!", Schneider wrote to me, and the heart expanded.

On the other side of the great joy and excitement were Majed and Samar Mahamid, the parents of Fouad who was fatally injured in a car accident.

Fouad was also 3 years old, born two weeks after Libby's birth.

At the end of three days in which they fought for his life at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, his parents realized that his chances of waking up had run out.

In a brave and noble decision, they agreed to donate his organs to save other children.

His liver was transplanted into a 4-year-old girl. The kidneys into a 15-year-old boy. And my heart received the heart.

Now, in the Schneider yard, the two families meet for the first time.

Filled with fears, with trembling hearts, the Mahamid family from the village of Yeaving in Bermat Menashe and the Giladi family from Jerusalem are looking for the right words to thank and cherish.

This one wants to give thanks for the heart thanks to which her daughter is alive, and this one to cherish the girl with whom their son's heart beats.

The men shake hands, then hug.

The women hug.

Bella hands them a framed picture she made, with a drawing of a heart in it, in one half a picture of Libby, and in the other half a picture of Fouad.

Two that are one.

Silently, with teary eyes, Bella offers Samar to place her hand on the beating heart in Libby's chest.

"I can't believe it, it's really his heart," Summer lets the tears roll down her cheeks.

With the help of Dr. Ofer Schiller, a senior doctor in the cardiac surgery and cardiac intensive care unit, she and Majed listen to the heartbeat with the help of a stethoscope. And Libby, who until that moment was restless, realizes that she is part of an exciting moment, and surrenders to deep breathing. Her heart is beating. Fouad's heart.

"I always called him Fuadi, my heart in Arabic," says Samer Bared.

"And here is his heart in my heart. It is truly an amazing thing. There is nothing that can comfort us more than the knowledge that Fuad saved a life in his death."

Two families, so different, that united in one moment.

Majed (33) works in a studio and gym in Yavea.

Samar (32) is a figure skating coach.

Majed is proud that their daughter Kemer, 5 years old, was also the Israeli champion in figure skating for her age.

Majed comes from a Muslim family, his wife from a Christian family.

"The children," he emphasizes, "we raised to be human beings. My son kept telling us: 'I'm not a little boy, I'll be a big boy and a hero.' And also to the environment, that he is truly a hero. A happy boy, who left his signature wherever he went. Energetic, constantly on the move, like a spring. Everyone remembered his smile. He left a big hole in everyone's hearts."

The article about Livy and Ahmed Ali published in "Shishab", 26.8.22,

"I replay everything and cry"

On August 15, when Libi was still hospitalized and it seemed that she was far from a heart transplant, Fuad celebrated his 3rd birthday. The next day he and his family went on vacation to Sinai.

They played in the sand, spent time in the sea, enjoyed every moment.

In a photo on Majed's cell phone, Fouad is seen hugging a dolphin, with whom he swam in a pool in Sinai.

"He was my friend first," sighed Majed.

"Samer works in the national team's training in the afternoons, so Fouad and I would spend a lot of time together."

The photos from the accident never leave him.

It happened on August 30, the day after they returned from Sinai.

"My daughter and I were at home, and suddenly we heard screams," he speaks slowly.

"Fouad was seriously injured in the head from a car. I provide first aid, and I tried to help him - but I didn't succeed. He was taken to the Emek Hospital, where they connected him to a ventilator and transferred him to Rambam. The thought of that day is very difficult for me."

For three days Fuad wavered between life and death in Rambam. Three days during which his parents, their friends and family members from the village stayed by his side in the corridor. When they saw that his chances of waking up and recovering were slim, a relative of Majed, who works as a doctor, brought up the possibility of organ donation.

"He told me that Fouad was suffering from a severe head injury, but the body was normal and intact, and brought up the idea of ​​donating his organs. Until then I did not know about this option. I said that I was in favor of doing a mitzvah and a good deed, but the one who made the final decision was Samar, the brave heroine. I wanted to do a humane deed and dedicate the mitzvah to Fuad, so that he would feel like a hero, but I knew it was her decision.

"Then Samar told me: 'Here, the wheel turns, and I will donate and do the bravest act in the world. I hope people will learn from this.'

A hero whose organs saved lives.

Fuad, a few days before he was killed, photo: courtesy of the family

"The one who is holding us now is our daughter. She is also a hero. We told her, together with a social worker and a psychologist, what happened. We let her draw, express in art the anger and pain she has, and she is slowly learning to deal with things. She asks me no A little about Fouad. Just a few days ago she asked me to tell her what happened in the accident. I swallowed the saliva, I told her that a driver didn't pay attention and hit him. I told her like you could tell a 4-year-old girl."

Samar: "When I recall everything we went through, I cry. I was hoping that Fouad would get up, but we went through many stages until we realized that it wouldn't happen. In the hospital, they prepared us slowly for each stage. For three days, they thought that they might still be able to stabilize him. But when they realized that he wouldn't, and brought it up to me The idea of ​​organ donation, I said there was no need to think about it. If my son can save a life, there is no question here at all."

Alex Tsurani, the organ donation coordinator at Rambam, understands that this is not a simple decision. "The Mahamid family's noble agreement to donate their son's organs saved the lives of other children and teenagers, who will gain a new life thanks to this.

At Rambam, we are moved every time anew by noble families who understand that when it comes to saving human life, there is no regional limit or national or sectarian affiliation, and everyone donates for everyone with the understanding that by doing so other lives can be saved."

Tamar Ashkenazi, director of the National Transplant Center: "Meetings like this, of the family of the transplant recipients and the family of the donors, are very moving. Above all, they emphasize the necessary factor for the existence of a transplant - the generosity of the donor family. The camaraderie at the meeting gives us, who are involved in coordinating transplants, the justification to continue offering to the families the great privilege of donating organs and saving lives."

The moment of meeting: Bela and Bentzi Giladi (right) welcome Majed and Samar Mahamid.

"A noble decision of a family that lost their dear one",

"amazing unity of religions"

On the fateful Friday, September 2, Bella returned home to Jerusalem, and Bentzi stayed in the hospital with Libby.

At 11:50 Bella left to pick up her sister Yael from kindergarten, on her way to shopping.

On the bus, the nurse from the Schneider transplant coordinator called her.

"I'm already used to receiving phone calls from the hospital, but this time the nurse told me, 'Mom, take a deep breath, I have a heart.' I had a very difficult night of anger and pain. And here, a day later, this phone call arrives, as if I had come from the biggest break to the best thing."

Benzi was at the hospital with Libby at the same time.

"The nurse came to me and announced that there was a heart donation, and that my heart should be taken for tests. My whole body was shaking," he recalled.

"Immediately they took her for tests, and I didn't have a moment to digest, but I felt full inside. I told my heart that the device would soon be removed from her, and she would be able to move around like any normal girl. I'm not sure she understood, but she knew something good was happening."

Bella arrived at the hospital at 14:00 and ran to the fifth floor, to the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.

"I told her, 'My heart, we're going to take the tubes off,' and she said she didn't want to because it hurt. I explained to her that it was a new heart. I told her she was a hero and a champion, and the whole department there was extremely excited and very happy. A dream that came true for everyone."

At 16:40 my heart went into the operating room, still connected to the external heart.

The transplant was performed by Dr. Gabi Amir, senior heart surgeon and director of the Schneider Neonatal Cardiac Surgery Unit, for about 12 hours. It was only at 3:00 AM, at the end of an operation that was considered complex due to the need to disconnect from the external heart and connect to the human heart, that my heart came out with the new heart .

"We were all sitting outside the operating room, had a Shabbat meal and were waiting endlessly. In the middle I saw a suitcase that had arrived from Rambam.

The doctors explained to me that it is a refrigerator with a heart inside, and as soon as they connect it to the blood vessels of my heart - it will start to beat.

I felt as if I had reborn my heart."

At the end of the surgery, my heart was connected to an Acmo device, which artificially activates the heart and lungs, to stabilize her heart.

On Tuesday she was already separated from him.

In small baby steps, one after another, her body gets used to living without devices, with a heart that beats on its own.

For nine months Libby was in the hospital, in pediatric intensive care, and now the staff said goodbye to her.

"Her story demonstrates that a combination of a multidisciplinary professional team, the intelligent use of modern technologies and the generosity of Fuad's parents led to the best result and saved her life," says Dr. Schiller. "We all hope that organ donations, especially in children, will increase.

In recent years, 14 toddlers, children and teenagers have been connected to various types of artificial hearts in Schneider, most of them underwent a human heart transplant - and their lives were saved." Even these days, it is worth noting, there are two children and two teenagers waiting for a heart transplant in Schneider.

On Sunday this week, after nine months of hospitalization, as if reborn, my heart went home.

When she left him, in January, she was still sleeping in a cot.

Now, in honor of her return, Bella ordered her a children's bed to match her size.

In the near future Libby will have to go to the hospital every week, to be monitored by Dr. Amichai Rothstein, who treated her all along, and by the transplant team of the Heart Institute, which is managed by Prof. Einat Birak. At the same time, she receives medication and steroids.

pain and joy

Bela Giladi, Libby's mother, with Samer Mahamid, Fuad's mother,

But now, in the courtyard of Schneider Hospital, she surrenders to the kind words and blessings showered upon her by Jed and Samar. "I keep telling my heart that she has received Fuad's heart.

When she grows up and gets stronger, she will know how to say it herself and will know everything about the child thanks to whom she lives.

But everything," promises Bella Lesser.

Benzi: "I was waiting for this meeting so much. If there is something I can point to as the most exciting, it is the connection between the three religions. Even though there is such a great conflict, we managed to achieve such unity, which is amazing to me. From now on we are a family. I adore the land of Mag D. and Samar go after her, because such a decision is superhuman in my eyes, and it was made at a time when the most precious thing to them was taken from them."

Samar and Majed say that they were never bothered by the thought of who would receive Fouad's organs, nor what religion he would belong to.

"Our children are our lives," says Samar.

"And when you are with your child in the hospital, you want to stop everything to hold him, to hold your life. When you have no choice left, you want to help others - and it doesn't matter who that help reaches.

"What could be better than giving other children another life? It was never important for me to differentiate between religions and people. In our extended family we have Muslims and Christians and also Jews. All religions direct us to be good people - and as much as possible."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-09-29

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