Gaza patient in Israeli hospital
I went to our Pediatric ICU in search of M.Z. from Gaza. I heard that his baby daughter was flown here from Southern Israel by helicopter after our medical team connected her to the ECMO machine that temporarily takes over the functioning of the heart and lungs. Our mobile ECMO team is the only of its kind in Israel. I saw a large group of Arabs relaxing on the grass outside the department and asked if M.Z. was among them. They answered me that they were Israeli Bedouins and not from Gaza.
Affiliated with the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel
I found M.Z. sitting alone outside on the other side of the building ...
smoking and looking dazed. Thus our conversation began. After introducing myself and shaking his hand, I asked about his daughter. "She's only one year and eight months old ... and the only one of my eight children who looks like me." His eyes were red, tired and reflected great pain. M.Z. told me how the little girl one day could not breathe and how he rushed her, without incident, from Gaza to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. After several days there her condition rapidly and seriously deteriorated and that's when our team flew to hopefully rescue her. M.Z. was angry at the fateful turn of events that had befallen his daughter and could only refer to Allah (God) for mercy. He was grateful that our people were doing everything possible to save his child.
We began discussing politics and the direction our two peoples were heading. There we were ... a Jewish grandfather (me) and a Muslim father of a gravely ill child from Gaza ... talking like old friends ... almost like family.
The mere fact that a patient from Gaza was here while our physicians fought to save the life of his little girl is noteworthy these days. Did we solve anything? Politically, certainly not ... medically, we are hoping for the best. Just another example of life in Israel at eye level ... far beyond the media.
Israel's Emek Medical Center
Afula 18101, Israel