Israel’s national rescue team brought six-year-old Woodley Elysee and his aunt from earthquake-stricken Haiti to Israel last month, so that the Israeli non-profit Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) could perform the heart surgery that Woodley needs to survive into adulthood. Woodley is scheduled for surgery in just a few days and his prognosis is excellent.


Woodley with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak.

“…Woodley is suffering from four different heart defects, which keep oxygen from circulating properly through his body. If he does not undergo a complicated surgical procedure he will in all probability not reach the age of 10,” says Dr. Yuval Levy, who ran the premature baby ward at the field hospital established by the Israeli delegation to Haiti.

On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, SACH is launching a special campaign (at whose goal is to this month save the lives of Woodley and another nine children in need of heart surgery.

Upon arriving in Israel, Woodley was greeted by the president and prime minister and he appeared in local newspapers and on television.

An intelligent child, Woodley is small for his age. He is not yet in school and has never been able even to play ball. His parents, whose home was not affected by the quake, remain in Haiti, as his mother is due to give birth to her fifth child in a few months. His aunt, who was in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck and managed to get out of a building just in time, has accompanied him to Israel.

Through SACH, expert Israeli medical personnel donate their time and skill to perform heart surgery on children from all over the world who would die without it. More than 2,300 children have been saved since 1996.