January 31st, 2018

Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital Provides Life-Saving Surgery to Syrian Refugee Infant Airlifted from Cyprus

January 2018 – Last month, a critically-ill newborn boy was airlifted to Sheba Medical Center’s Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital in Israel, just days after he was born to Syrian refugees in Cyprus, as reported by, among other Israeli media.

The infant’s serious congenital heart defect was successfully treated.

“It was not clear to us if he needed an operation or could be stabilized with proper treatment without the need for surgery. After monitoring the situation closely, it was decided that an operation was needed,” said Dr. David Mishali, chief of pediatric and congenital cardiothoracic surgery at Safra.

“We were able to substantially improve his pulmonary blood flow, which resulted in a quick improvement in his condition. After a period of recovery, we released him from the hospital today [January 24]. He is scheduled to return to Sheba when he is six months-plus old in order to finish the treatment for his condition.

“During the baby’s time in the hospital, we made sure that the family felt at home and we will continue to follow his progress.”

Mishali said the pediatric hospital “constantly receives patients with some of the most complex problems from all over the world in order to fashion the proper treatment in a medically holistic manner within the our special children’s emergency cardiac care and surgical facility.”

The infant’s journey to Israel was facilitated by a representative of the Cyprus Ministry of Health, who contacted Israeli Ambassador Sammy Revel. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with security forces and officials from Ben-Gurion International Airport, successfully appealed to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to allow the baby and his father to enter the country.

Edmond J. Safra Foundation
Press Kit