Israeli Government Flies 6-Year-Old Boy From Ethiopia for Cardiac Treatment

In the midst of coronavirus travel restrictions, the Israeli government enabled 6-year-old Benjamin from Ethiopia to come to Israel for urgent cardiac treatment, Feb. 12, 2021. Photo: SACHS. – The Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), along with the medical team at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, has provided life-saving treatment to thousands of children from around the world in the past 25 years. Despite travel limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this year has been no different, as it continues to help kids like 6-year-old Benjamin, who landed in Israel on Feb. 12 from Ethiopia in order to receive urgent cardiac treatment.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, SACH has continued its mission, conducting medical efforts in accordance with Israel Ministry of Health guidelines. The work has been made more difficult by the implementation of the “closed skies” policy, and ultimately, the shutting down of Ben-Gurion International Airport in January with the aim of curbing the spread of COVID-19 variants.

In spite of these restrictions, SACH has continued its work, providing the Health Ministry with requests on behalf of a number of critically ill patients who require immediate care.

Although not a member of Ethiopian families immigrating to Israel, Benjamin was able to join a recent group flight from Ethiopia sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel.

He is currently being hosted at the organization’s Legacy Heritage Children’s home while he undergoes an initial examination that will enable doctors to determine his treatment.

Sylvan Adams, a major donor to SACH, said “SACH’s work exemplifies the big heart of Israel and the ancient Jewish imperative of tikkun olam, ‘improving the world.’ A big ‘thank you’ to the government of Israel for allowing these special travel exemptions so that children can have the chance to live a normal life.”

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