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Wonderful Stories to Take You Through Shabbat

Another Happy Patient

From a thank you letter –

Itai, our 12 year old son, underwent percutaneous nephrolithotomy [to remove kidney stones] at Hadassah. “‘When we arrived at the hospital we were concerned….We were confused and afraid of what would happen. After all, [he is] only a 12 year old boy. Dr. Ezekiel Landau was amazingly professional. After the operation we couldn't believe our eyes when we saw him pushing the bed into the recovery room. He didn't leave until Itai woke up, and then he called us in and explained everything.

"Also, it is not everyday that one meets a dear man such as Arie Latke from the Lithotripter Unit. He welcomed us with a big smile….He showed us the room and the machine and explained the procedure. During the operation he came out every few minutes and told us, with endless love and sensitivity, what was going on. We were complete strangers to him and he treated us like his own family – it was wonderful. With him, Itai was less afraid and even laughed, and of course we felt better.
Thank you, thank you….
The G Family

First Israeli Baby Treated With Cord Blood Stem Cells Transplantation for Head Injury

Dana gave birth to her third daughter at Hadassah some 18 months ago. She decided to preserve the cord blood.  "I wanted to have it just in case; may we never need it,” she says.
(Women who give birth at Hadassah and other Israeli hospitals can have cord blood collected from their child immediately after birth and preserved for them for future needs that may arise. Stem cells from cord blood are considered to have special potential.  The cord blood is preserved and monitored in Hadassah’s cryopreservation unit for up to 40 years.)  This special preservation unit operates within Hadassah's bone transplantation lab, under the direction of Simcha Samuel and Prof. Reuven Or, head of the department.

When the baby was 8 months old, her grandfather noticed that she had a motor problem in her left hand and leg. Looking for a solution, the family received a copy of a "You Tube" video describing a revolutionary treatment for cerebral palsy with cord blood stem cells. The treatment is performed by Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University Medical Center, NC. Watch a video of the treatment.

Dana contacted Hadassah and Duke. The screening process comprised many tests, and submission to the FDA for approval (only 40 children have been approved for this treatment to date.) Once approved, it was decided that Hadassah's lab Director Simcha Samuel would work with the family as well as follow up with the patient from the medical and research viewpoints.

After the girl was officially accepted for the treatment at Duke, Hadassah had to send her preserved cord blood to the USA. This required a special container that could keep the blood at
 -196 Celsius, without damaging the sample's quality. The container needed to be pre-charged with fluid nitrogen for 24 hours in order to freeze its walls. A special data logger was attached to the container to constantly record the temperature inside.

Upon arrival at Duke, the sample underwent two weeks of extensive testing to confirm Hadassah's data. Four weeks ago the girl underwent transplantation and returned to Israel with her parents and Simcha Samuel. One week ago she started to walk with the assistance of a walker and wave her left hand, which had been paralyzed.

Cord blood has been in use in Israel for years, primarily for hematological, autoimmune or cancer diseases. In this case the cord blood was used for head injury.

Modern Exodus

Patrick and Karen from Omaha, NE, were having a wonderful time on a Mediterranean cruise. Two days after they left Rome, Patrick began suffering from gastroenterological issues. He was treated by the ship’s doctor but showed no improvement. When the ship arrived at Alexandria, Egypt, the doctor decided to admit him in a hospital. The cruise continued without them. When the doctors in the hospital told Patrick and Karen that surgery was the only possible treatment, they decided to find another hospital. Patrick's sister connected them with an air ambulance company in Tel Aviv, which in turn connected Karen with Hadassah's Prof. David Linton, Director of Hadassah's Medical Intensive Care Unit, who is also a pilot.

After learning about the case on the telephone, Prof. Linton decided that he could not transfer Patrick to Israel by himself. He needed medical backup. He took with him General Surgeon Dr. Miklosh Bala. They flew to Egypt on Friday night, and Patrick was in surgery with Dr. Bala at Hadassah by Saturday morning. Saturday night he was in a two-patient room in the general surgery department in Hadassah’s new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, resting well.

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