Migdalia and her mother after successful heart surgery in Israel

Photo by Sheila Shalhevet, SACH Israel
Migdalia, with her mother, Rosa, after undergoing successful heart surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel.

Panamanian toddlers Jeremi and Migdalia have been given a new lease of life after successful heart surgery in Israel. The two children were brought to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon by the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) foundation, an Israel-based international humanitarian project that provides free heart surgery to developing countries.

This was the first time children from Panama took part in the life-saving program.

“I am very glad that we were able to bring these two children to Israel for treatment,” said SACH executive director Simon Fisher. “The model of cooperation, consultation and treatment that we have developed with doctors in Panama through the help of the Panamanian Foreign Ministry, will enable us to continue treating Panamanian children, and in time, train Panamanian physicians so that they can bring top quality pediatric cardiac care back to their home-country.”

Intel community outreach

Photo by Sheila Shalhevet, SACH Israel
Panamanian Ambassador Robert Arango V visits the Save a Child’s Heart House in Israel.

Both Jeremi and Migdalia were born with heart defects. Jeremi’s surgery was successfully completed and he has since returned home. Migdalia is still in Israel, undergoing treatment. Israeli doctors say both children will be able to lead normal and healthy lives.

And that’s exactly for what the Israel-based charity strives. SACH, is the largest undertaking in the world whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease, and to create centers of competence in these countries. To date, SACH has treated some 2,500 children from Africa, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, and countries in the Middle East.

The partnership between Panama and Israel began during a visit by First-Lady of Panama Marta Linares to Israel last March, which included a stopover at SACH’s facilities.

“The surgery performed on these two babies from Panama, gives them an opportunity to live life and fulfill their dreams,” said Robert Arango V, Panamanian Ambassador to Israel. “We are very thankful for the gifts of life that SACH has provided to our two young citizens. As we turn to 2011, we are ever more confident in SACH’s mission and expect to expand our partnership with this important group.”

According to the SACH pledge, “every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child’s nationality, religion, race, gender or financial situation.”