Noam Naor was just 3 years old when he fell from the fourth floor apartment of his parents’ home. He was rushed to Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv where doctors fought to save his life, but he had suffered irreversible brain damage and was subsequently declared to be clinically dead.
As is normal in such cases, the medical team approached his parents to obtain permission for his organs to be used in transplant surgery. After consulting their rabbi, they decided to give their consent.
“It was a difficult decision for us,” his mother Sarit is reported as having said, “but I am pleased that we went ahead with it.”
Since Noam was so young, his kidney could only be transplanted into a patient weighing less than 65 lbs. As it turned out, the most appropriate recipient was a Palestinian child named Samir, aged 10 from Bethlehem, who had been receiving treatment at Sha’arei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for the previous seven years.
When Noam’s parents were informed, they responded that it did not matter where the recipient came from or who he was. “I knew I was making the right decision,” said Sarit.
The transplant went well and Samir will shortly be released from Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikvah. His father Yakoub is reported as having said: “We went through many years of suffering with my son undergoing dialysis and his life being in danger. We are deeply grateful.”
As noted earlier, Samir is a child from Bethlehem, which is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Neverthless, he has received his medical care over many years in hospitals which are inside Israel itself.
The foreign media are quick to report on unrest in the Middle East and to comment on the security fence and barriers that cause hardship to Palestinians. However, little is told of the success stories and joint ventures between Israelis and Palestinians.
Alongside those who encourage boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and those who do everything in their power to delegitimize the Jewish State, there are others who seek to build bridges.
This article is based on a report that appeared today on Ynet, the internet edition of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot