With her liver and kidneys shutting down, Bethlehemite Sara al Katzroy, age 18, seemed to be in need of an emergency transplant, but a Hadassah Medical Center multidisciplinary team saved her without it.
Although Sara had been a healthy student at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, she became dehydrated and collapsed while out for a run in Jericho, where she had been taking a course. She had already jogged four kilometers (2.5 miles).
Initially, she was treated for severe heat stroke in Jericho, but when she didn't respond, an ambulance brought her to Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem. At Hadassah, Sara was diagnosed with multiple organ failure. "Because she had heat stroke, we thought there was a chance for her liver to begin functioning again,” explains Dr. Sigal Sviri-Saroussi, head of Hadassah’s internal medicine intensive care unit. “At the same time, we prepared for transplantation.”
Several years ago, Hadassah received a donation of a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculation System (MARS), which removes toxins and serves as an artificial liver support system. The director of Hadassah's Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Prof. Ran Oren, was one of the first doctors in the world to pioneer the use of this machine.
Thanks to MARS and Hadassah’s medical team, which included Prof. Rifaat Safadi, head of the Liver Unit, and Prof. Michal Dranitzki Elhalel, head of the Nephrology Department, Sara is recovering well, having spent three weeks in Hadassah’s Intensive Care Unit.
"I was told I'd probably need physical therapy, but I refused,” Sara relates. I'm going to get up and go." Sarah will be returning to Al-Quds University where she has been studying business administration, but now she wants to change her career. She explains: "Before I collapsed, I wanted to be a detective, but now I want to be a nurse. The nurses who took care of me are angels. I want to save lives. Whether Arabs or Jews, I don't differentiate. I want to save them all."