On December 24, a two-day-old baby born to Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Cyprus was flown to Israel by an Israeli medical team, in order to undergo lifesaving heart surgery at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
The infant’s journey to Israel was facilitated by a representative of the Cyprus Ministry of Health, who contacted Israeli Ambassador Sammy Revel on Friday, December 22, requesting assistance for the baby born that day with a serious congenital heart defect.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with security forces and officials from Ben-Gurion International Airport, appealed to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to allow the baby and his father to enter the country. Permission was granted and the baby was brought to the neonatal intensive care unit at Sheba’s Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Itai Pessach, deputy director of the children’s hospital, said the baby would be evaluated for surgery. No further information about the infant’s condition is available at this time.
Sheba Medical Center maintains a special agreement with the Republic of Cyprus. The center is active in humanitarian work, providing support and supplies in distant areas of need including Kosovo, Armenia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Chernobyl and Rwanda. Patients come to Sheba from across the Middle East, including from Arab countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel, and from the Palestinian Authority.