Friends of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer

2010 show/hide
Sheba Partners with U of London Medical School to Launch International Medical Degree Program in CyprusDr. Norman Wall Awarded by Sheba: An Untold Medical Story from Israel's PastJoint effort leads to rehab clinic in Haitian capitaAnother Haitian patient healed at ShebaZabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases Dedicated at the Sheba Medical CenterIsraeli hospitals train African doctors in AIDS treatmentsIraqi Child Saved at ShebaBereaved father transports ailing Palestinians to Israeli hospital (Sheba)Medical cannabis revolution in Israel, including ShebaCardiac research center holds promise for patients Israeli doctors arrive in Romania to treat babies burned in hospital fireSheba heart transplant patient has twins!For a Haitian amputee, life-changing aid is in sightIsraeli doctors in Congo to aid burn victims get slammed for occupationBaby saves mother from blood clot, at ShebaIsraeli doctors are first foreign specialists to treat victims of Congo oil blastSheba's Prof. Eli Schwartz pens new book on travelers and tropical diseasesSheba scientists: Teen-age Boys Have Greater Risk Than Girls Of High Blood Pressure As AdultsSheba's Prof. Achiron Preempts Multiple SclerosisSheba doctors: Experimental treatment successful in half of melanoma casesHouston forges cancer research links with Israel Israelis find MS signs that appear years before symptomsIsraeli team reports on return from 10-day Haiti missionSheba Proposes Establishment of Haitian-Israeli Rehabilitation Center in HaitiBorn-again Zionist supermodelBritish Medical Journal Discrimnates Against ShebaSheba and M. D. Anderson Sign Cooperation Agreement in Cancer Treatment and ResearchSheba Medical center teams up with University of TexasSheba's Colonel Dr. Itzik Kreiss Commands the Israeli Field Hospital in HaitiFive Sheba Doctors on Humanitarian Mission in HaitiSheba Medical Research Offers New Hope for Treating Childhood Leukemia
2009 show/hide
Sheba Scientists Publish Important Finding About Human Heart Stem CellsIsraeli medical team saves sight in MyanmarProf. Jacob Lavee's New Organ Donor Prioritization Plan Adopted into Law, and Draws International AttentionSheba's Prof. Raphi Walden Awarded the French Legion of HonorIsraeli Researchers Make Significant Progress in Heart Tissue EngineeringSheba's Dr. Jacob Kuint and colleagues find that postpartum depression negatively affects infant developmentSheba's Dr. Shai Izraeli discovers novel alternative to chemotherapy for children with leukemiaSheba, NYU researchers to draw genetic map of wandering JewA new school of thought: A plan to open the country's fifth medical school brings opportunities to re-think doctor trainingSarah Ferber of Sheba in Israel shows that potentially, patients with diabetes can be donors of their own therapeutic tissueStudy shows why simple carbs are bad for youStudy traces high carb link to heart attacksIn pursuit of a happiness geneUsing PlayStation to heal severe burn trauma Israel, PA and Jordan cooperate as flu threat grows Babies given transfusions in the womb do wellDecrease In Sense Of Smell Seen In Lupus PatientsSheba Doctor Publishes Inflammatory Breast Cancer Drug AdvanceSheba's Prof. Mordechai Shani to be Awarded Israel's Top Award: "The Israel Prize" for Lifetime Achievement The Last Soldier Goes Home Keep on giving: U.S. donor not deterred by financial downturnIsrael's first center for child abuse victims opens at Sheba Medical CenterInnovative cardiac valve prosthesis developed at ShebaHigher A1C Levels Linked to Lower Brain Function: Study Published by the American Diabetes Association Suggests Lowering A1C Levels Could Reduce Decline in Cognitive Function Gaza War Update II from Sheba Medical CenterIDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi at Sheba: "I Thank Sheba for its Remarkable and Irreplaceable Work on Behalf of the Nation and its Soldiers!"Medical Update on the Gaza War'Not all Israelis are bad': Eight-year-old Palestinian cancer patient treated near Tel Aviv grateful to Israeli doctors
Haitian girl has 'rare and complicated' heart surgery in Israel
AuthorKarin Kloosterman

Haitian girl has 'rare and complicated' heart surgery in Israel

By Karin Kloosterman,, May 15, 2011

Doctors at a Tel Aviv hospital arranged to have the child airlifted from Haiti for one of the rarest and most sophisticated heart operations in the world.

Amy Mariolata had just two years to live when doctors from Sheba Medical Center stepped in to give her revolutionary heart surgery.

Even after journalists stopped covering news from the storm-ravaged island of Haiti, Israeli doctors from Israel's Chaim Sheba Medical Center made a pledge to keep the Israeli humanitarian aid flowing.

Now, a 12-year-old Haitian girl recently went back home after one of the "most complicated, super-sophisticated, rare, lengthy, lifesaving heart operations in the world," performed by surgeons at Sheba's Children's Hospital.

Both the $30,000 operation and transportation costs to and from Israel for the patient and her mother were covered by Sheba, which is situated at Tel Hashomer just outside Tel Aviv and is Israel's largest medical center.

All-expense-paid journey to Israel

The story started with exotic diseases expert Dr. Eli Schwartz, who is volunteering at the clinic set up by Sheba personnel in Port-au-Prince. According to Dr. David Mishali, head of the Israeli hospital's department of pediatric and congenital cardiothoracic surgery, Schwartz treats about 400 patients there every week.

Knowing Mishali from his intern days, Schwartz sent an email regarding Amy Mariolata, a young girl with rheumatic heart disease, a condition affecting the heart valves that left her with only a two-year life expectancy.

Under normal circumstances, the two diseased valves would be replaced by mechanical ones. But with little or no access to critical continuing care and pharmaceuticals in Haiti to maintain the artificial valves, this wasn't an option, Mishali tells ISRAEL21c.

So with the support of Sheba CEO Dr. Zeev Rotstein, who "pulled a few strings to get the financial support," as Mishali recalls, "eventually we managed to bring her here and we performed a very complex operation and it looks like it was very successful."

Instead of using mechanical valves, Mishali's team performed "quite a complicated surgery. One valve was replaced with the other, and one valve was repaired, and we ended up with nice results that can give her 20 or 30 years of a normal, quality life."

Rivaling the best medical centers in the world

Pediatric rheumatic heart disease is believed to be caused by rheumatic fever, brought on by an immune system malfunction. It was the leading cause of death 100 years ago in the age group of five- to 20 year-olds in the United States. Worldwide, it remains a problem leading to some 90,000 deaths each year.

That's one reason that for Mishali, life as a heart surgeon for children can be summed up as a "big excitement." He says the Congenital Heart Center at Sheba's Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, established in 1952, rivals the best treatment facilities in the world and beats them in one regard: Every step of the way, from admission, to the operating room, to meetings with specialists, to checkout, are in the same location -- making the experience less traumatic for the young patients and their families.

Recently, doctors at the Congenital Heart Center saved the life of a one-week-old infant with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (SGLS), using an unusual procedure available in few other countries. It relies on hybrid technology and two methods for correcting the deformity, resulting in less postoperative pain and faster recovery.

Is Mishali ever afraid of the responsibility of holding the beating heart of a child in his hands, a young life counting on his success or failure? Yes. "When I stop being afraid, I will quit," says Mishali.


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