Deadly riots undermining the peaceful coexistence in the mixed Jewish and Arab city of Lod claimed the life of 56-year-old Jewish electrician Yigal Yehoshua on May 17. He died of head injuries sustained from a brick was thrown at him as he walked home from a Torah dedication ceremony.
But this tragic event led to a multicultural medical miracle as Yehoshua’s organs saved the lives of four patients.
Two Muslim surgeons at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem successfully transplanted one of Yehoshua’s kidneys into a Christian Arab mother of six.
“Yigal will go straight to heaven, to a better place,” said the kidney recipient, 58-year-old Randa Aweis, after her surgery.
“Here we must all, Christians, Muslims and Jews, strive for peace. All of us. I can’t wait to host Yigal’s family in my home,” added Aweis, who had been awaiting a kidney transplant for nine years.
Dr. Abed Khalaileh, director of Hadassah’s Kidney Transplantation Service, performed the surgery with Dr. Ashraf Imam.
In an interview with Channel 12 news, Khalaileh thanked the family of the donor “in what was such an appalling situation” and expressed his wish for health and peace for all.
“Medicine in general and transplantation in particular symbolizes humanity,” Khalaileh said. “In this case, a woman received a new lease on life.”
Yehoshua’s other organs saved additional lives at other Israeli hospitals.
His second kidney was transplanted into a 67-year-old retired career soldier, his liver into a 22-year-old woman and his lungs into a 69-year-old man. Each of these patients had no other hope for survival.