It’s a story that works to break down the walls between Muslims and Jews. It’s the story of Kevin, a 14-month-old Indonesian boy diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease just eight days after his birth. His fate looked grim—the heart malformation is responsible for more deaths within the first year of life than any other birth defect.
Kevin’s misfortune was an opportunity for Save a Child’s Heart, an Israel-based international humanitarian project focused on improving the quality of pediatric care for children from developing nations, to treat its first Indonesian child.
Kevin’s surgery, which was made possible by donations from the American Jewish Committee (AJC), was a success and doctors are optimistic that Kevin will make a full recovery. Perhaps when he does, he’ll remember the kindness of the Israeli people.
“Bringing a Muslim child from Indonesia to Israel for life-saving surgery exemplifies the compassion of the Israeli people and the highest standards of health care, which they are proud to share,” says AJC Executive Director David Harris. “In this spirit, we also advance AJC’s mission of deepening interreligious and international understanding and cooperation.”
To date, Save a Child’s Heart has provided care to nearly 2,500 children from Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia including throughout the Middle East, and has trained 56 physicians and nurses at the Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv from a host of countries from around the world.
In addition to treatment and training in Israel, the Save a Child’s Heart medical team travels to partner sites throughout the developing world in order to perform surgery, conduct cardiology clinics that evaluate pre- and post-operative patients together with local cardiologists, and give local medical personnel onsite training in pediatric cardiac care. Save a Child’s Heart is dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child’s nationality, religion, race, gender or financial situation.