Toddler ISIS Refugee is Recovering from Life-Saving Heart Surgery at Hadassah

Tuesday, Mar 31 2015

Renee Young, National Public Relations
(212) 303- 8140


JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—When her family fled the Islamic State terrorists in Northwestern Iraq, the chances that Maryam could have the life-threatening hole in her heart repaired were near zero. Today, however, the 18-month-old is recovering from life-saving heart surgery at the Hadassah’s hospital in Jerusalem.

"Her situation was very complex," explains Dr. Eldad Erez, Chair of Hadassah’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Unit. Her heart was pointed to the wrong side of her chest and her arteries were connected to the wrong chambers. In addition, because the surgery didn't take place when she was a baby, her lungs were compromised. "Normally the surgery would have been done at eight months,” notes Prof. Erez, “but there is nothing normal in this story. I don't see more than one case like this a year."

Following eight hours of surgery, Maryam is in stable condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, with an “excellent prognosis," Dr. Erez reports.

Maryam’s mother, Lena, who brought the child from her refugee camp to the life-saving care of Hadassah’s health professionals, relates: "I can never thank you enough. 

Lena and Maryam had made their way to Israel thanks to the Christian organization, Shevet Achim, whose representatives suggested she get to Hadassah and orchestrated the arrangements. "So many people speak Arabic here, and everyone is warm and supportive,” Lena notes. “You have given my child a future. God bless you."





Hadassah is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters across the country, Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on criticalissues such as medical care and research, women's empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.


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