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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saving Wallah-Emergency Brain Surgery Saves Gaza Toddler

Two-year-old Wallah Omar from Gaza City recently finished an exhausting series of radiation treatments under general anesthesia.

Now, accompanied by her father, Ayad Hamis Omar, she is receiving physiotherapy as part of her rehabilitation.

Six weeks ago, Wallah was urgently moved from Gaza to Rambam Health Care Campus, which is located in the city of Haifa, in the north of the State of Israel.

It's difficult to believe, but this active, giggling little girl arrived at Rambam's Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Department afraid and quiet, her left side paralyzed.

An MRI exam identified a large and dangerous tumor pressing on her brain.

Her father had no doubts regarding what must be done: "We requested that the surgery and the post-surgical care take place in Israel," he says. "It is known that here, Wallah will receive the highest quality care in the world."

Wallah was operated on almost as soon as she arrived at Rambam by the Director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Unit, Dr. Joseph Guilburd, who removed the child's brain tumor.

"To see a child who recovers so beautifully is a physician's greatest satisfaction," says Dr. Guilburd.

The Children's Hospital at Rambam provides treatment in oncology, nephrology, orthopedics, cardiology, and neurosurgery to seven hundred Palestinian children annually. Prof. Myriam Ben Arush, Director of the Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Department, says that she is proud of her department's activities.
"Our department is really a microcosm of an ideal world: Jewish, Christian and Muslim children from all countries receive the best possible care.

Our only constraints are space, equipment and personnel. With more funding, we could do even more," Prof. Ben Arush says.