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bigross86
26 Nov 03,, 19:55
Israeli Doctors Working to Save Iraqi Baby

Wednesday, November 26, 2003



JERUSALEM In an act of compassion that sometimes seems unimaginable in that war-torn part of the world, Israeli doctors worked Wednesday to save the life of an Iraqi baby who was born with a congenital heart defect.

And Israel and Iraq haven't exactly been friendly neighbors over the years.

During the first Gulf War in 1991, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein fired 39 scud missiles toward Israelis in Tel Aviv and Haifa. And Israel was on high alert for more attacks earlier this year, which makes the story of Bayan Jassem all the more remarkable.

The tiny Iraqi baby, wrapped in a red and yellow blanket, arrived in Israel on Tuesday from Iraq, along with her mother and father, for an operation to correct the heart defect.

The week-old infant was born in a hospital near Kirkuk, Iraq, with the arteries to her heart reversed.

An American doctor working with U.S. forces in Iraq discovered Jassem's problem and went looking for help. He was put in touch with an Israeli hospital that was familiar with treating this type of heart defect. A doctor in Israel instructed an Iraqi physician on how to stabilize Jassem before she left the country.

No child in Iraq has ever had this kind of surgery, because no Iraqi doctors had ever been trained in this procedure.

The baby and her parents flew to Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday then drove to Jerusalem, arriving at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city.

Doctors said the infant is very sick, but they can save her. They know what's wrong and were conducting the operation on Wednesday. Israeli doctors expected Jassem's complicated operation to take as long as 11 hours, said Simon Fisher, executive director of Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli-based charity that is registered in the United States and has given medical treatment to nearly 1,000 children since its establishment in 1995.

The operation must be performed within the first two weeks of a baby's birth, doctors said.

Such open-heart surgery to correct arterial flow around the heart has never been performed in Iraq, said Jonathan Miles, an American doctor who works with Save a Child's Heart and traveled with the Jassem family from Iraq.

If all goes well, Jassem will recover in Jerusalem for anywhere from two weeks to two months. Then, she and her parents will head back home to Iraq.

The cost of the surgery and the family's expenses were being covered by Save a Child's Heart, which treats children from poor families who do not have the means for medical treatment to correct their kids' heart defects.

It has paid for operations for more than 300 Palestinian and several Jordanian children during the past three years and has flown surgeons to Africa and Asia to treat children.

Children who have been treated by the organization come from all corners of the world, including China, Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kinchasa, Moldova, Nigeria, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and the Island of Zanzibar.

Fox News' Rick Leventhal and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

s_qwert63
26 Nov 03,, 20:05
So...?
The Americans told you to, so you do it.

bigross86
26 Nov 03,, 20:14
Where does it say the US told them to help? Did it ever occur to you that the Israeli doctors did it just for the girls future's sake?

s_qwert63
26 Nov 03,, 20:20
Exactly, then what does the fact that she is Iraqi have to do with the whole thing? And why is it publicized at all?
Probably going to be a huge PR stunt, like "Brave Israeli Doctors save oppressed Iraqi baby from heart attack!"

bigross86
26 Nov 03,, 20:27
No, it's just pointing out the fact that an Israeli doctor is treating an Iraqi girl. Iraq and Israel haven't been the best of friends lately...

s_qwert63
26 Nov 03,, 20:36
So, it's his job... to treat people. And I do not think that it is a start of a deep friendly relationship between Israel and Iraq, I think you will agree.

bigross86
26 Nov 03,, 20:41
I think it is. That one act of kindness could be all that's needed to bring the two nations back to friendly terms

s_qwert63
26 Nov 03,, 20:51
Well the most effective propoganda campaign started by Saddam Hussein was the anti-Semitic one, it actually had quite a significant effect on Iraqis. So I do not think that friendly relations will develop between yur country and Iraq in the next few decades.

bigross86
26 Nov 03,, 20:55
Which is the difference between you and me. You're always looking for a fight. I feel that any fight you walk away from means you get have fun another day

Trooth
30 Nov 03,, 12:29
Whilst it is a charming story, it is exactly that. At the end of the day a doctor's duty is to provide medical help. End of story. Any doctor that fails to do so should be struck off.

In wartime doctors often have to face the difficult task of saving an enemy soldier because they can, and leave their own to die because the progrnosis from triage showed where the effort should be spent.

It is a story for the lay person who believes that Doctors should continue the war in the hospital.

Lunatock
02 Dec 03,, 19:58
Save your fingertips. Sqwert won't listen. Found that out after he proclaimed that all the Chechens and Lithuanians should be wiped out. And that Valdimir Putin & the Russian Federation are beings of pure good, in his opinion.