November 3, 2013, Updated November 4, 2013

For the first time since Syria’s civil war broke out, a woman in labor – who had not been injured in the infighting but simply needed medical assistance – was brought into Israel for help.

The 20-year-old woman arrived at the Ziv Medical Center overnight and gave birth to a healthy 3.2-kg boy this morning (November 3).

The little one is the first Syrian baby to be born in an Israeli hospital.

The first-time mother, a nurse by training, told Ziv Medical Staff that the village in which she lives near Kuneitra is under strict curfew and getting to a nearby hospital was out of the question.

“There are no midwives in my village and therefore no one to deliver my baby,” she told the Israeli medical team. “I’m a nurse by training and I knew Syrian victims had gone to Israel for medical help. As soon as I felt myself going into labor, I asked to be taken to the border in the hope that the Israeli army would agree to help me. I was very worried about coming into Israel but I was more worried about the health of my baby. The Israeli midwives and doctors have treated me with the utmost respect. I don’t feel like I’m in an enemy country, everyone is so helpful.”

Mira Eli, head nurse of the maternity ward, said the woman was so thankful the birth went well that she hugged the nursing staff upon seeing her baby.

Eli added that every patient regardless of religion, race or nationality receives the best care, including the Syrian new mother.

“Our job is to make sure that every birth goes well and that the birth mother will remember it as an unforgettable experience,” said Eli. “I’m sure, in this case especially, that she will never forget the birth of her first son and this is a story that will accompany them for the rest of their lives. If they’re allowed to tell about it.”

The new mother also spoke of severe food hardships in her village and noted that the Ziv Medical Center’s meals marked the “first time in ages that [she] ate meat and vegetables. I feel great, I am eating and getting stronger and my sweet little boy is receiving outstanding care. I thank everyone for the devoted care, their concern and understanding.”

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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