Doctor and Medical Staff Testimonials
Doctor and Medical Staff Testimonials
Dr Ioana Bejan, Romania
Dr Ioana trained in pediatric cardiology
Dr Ioana, an adult cardiologist specialist, spent a year training pediatric cardiology in Israel. She did her residency in Romania and during the residency traveled to France for specific training.
The best part of Dr Iona’s experience in Israel has been her exposure to a wide variety of medical cases, including pre-natal diagnosis of congenital heart disease by fetal echocardiography, neonatal care, immediate post-surgical and long-term follow up. She has experienced a large range of procedures and treatments. She gained a good base for the future by doing lots of practical clinical work. Ioana admires the medical personnel she works with at the Wolfson Medical Center who are dedicated, professional and efficient.
In addition to her medical training, Ioana has found encountering people from different cultures beneficial .
During her free time, Ioana studies, goes to the gym and spends time with her new friends she met here in Israel. The hardest part of being in Israel was been being far away from her family.
Nurse Rasha Shawahni, Palestinian Authority
Nurse Rasha Shawahni is currently training in the neonatal ICU
Nurse Rasha is a 29 year old woman from Nablus. Born in Tulkarem and raised in Nablus, Rasha grew up with a brother and a sister. Her brother is now married to an Israeli woman and lives in Israel. Rasha often comes to visit him.
Rasha married at the age of 25, after finishing her studies in Ramallah to become a nurse and a midwife. Rasha has triplet boys aged 5, who go to kindergarten every day in Nablus. Rasha’s husband works in a bank and in their free time, they go out to play with the triplets.
Rasha has returned to her studies in Nablus, and works in Rafidia hospital. Through the Palestinian Ministry of Health’s website, Rasha found out about Save a Child’s Heart and contacted Dr. Wafiq, SACH’s Palestinian Doctors Coordinator.
Nurse Rasha has been in Israel now for three months training in the neonatal ICU at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. She trains two days a week at Wolfson, and the remaining days she studies and works in Nablus. To come to Holon, she has to take 3 buses, and it takes her around 2.30h to cross the border every time.
About her training at Wolfson, Rasha says, ‘I’m very happy to be here. I feel like I’ve already gained a lot of experience. So far I have observed a lot, and I look forward to practicing. I want to thank Save a Child’s Heart for this amazing opportunity, to learn from different people and see a different hospital and equipment. I hope to continue training at Wolfson. I feel very comfortable here and I am learning a lot. I am learning from different policies and different equipment. I love the people I work with at Wolfson.
Dr Godfrey Baltazar Mbawala, Tanzania
Dr Godfrey trained in pediatric cardiology.
My name is Dr Godfrey Baltazar Mbawala, I am a pediatrician from Tanzania. I was born 36 years ago and was the first born in a family with four children. Like most of kids, I grew up with a dream of being a doctor and when I was about to start my first year of medical school in 1999 my sister was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. Due to the lack of expert and facility she had to be referred to India for Mitral replacement, and thanks to God and to the doctors who operated her, she is now fine and just married at age of 30 years. This made me make a promise to my family that one day I would study cardiology so that I can help thousands of children with congenital and acquired heart disease, that need experts, but are dying on waiting lists of referral to abroad. But this dream which had existed for 14 years would have been just a dream like thousands of dreams I ever had in my life, if it wasn’t for Save a Child’s Heart, which gave me the opportunity to realize my dream.
I met the SACH team in Mwanza Tanzania, at the Bugando Medical Centre in August, 2011 when they came for a mission where hundreds of children were screened and thirteen underwent heart surgery. This was immediately after finishing my residency. I remember as if it was yesterday about one patient who was very sick and complicated after BT shunt. What struck me was the effort and team work of the doctors who worked very hard to try to save the life of this child, despite the fact that they were all tired after a long day in the operation room and cardiac clinic.
When I arrived in Israel to start my training, I felt very comfortable because everything was organized, so I settled well and met the clinical team who also welcomed me and asked me to feel at home. In the four months that I have stayed in Israel, I have learnt to live in a multicultural environment where you meet and work with people from different parts of the world. I have also learnt a lot in cardiology, I’ve have seen more in four months in cardiology in Israel than what I have seen in my eight years of practice in medicine.
I would like to thank SACH and the clinical staff at the Wolfson Medical Center for giving me the chance to realize my dream of helping Tanzanian children with heart disease after finishing my fellowship. Last but not least I would like to thank all the house mates and the kids with heart disease at the SACH house in Holon, for creating an environment which I can call home.
Dr Bishwas Pradhan, Nepal
Dr. Bishwas Pradhan from Nepal trained in Anesthesia during the month of February 2013
I am extremely delighted to be in Israel, with the SACH organization and be a part in this long awaited mission. It is an honor to be a part of this program, which helped me learn new things in paediatric cardiac anesthesia and paediatric intensive care during my one month visit in February, 2013 at the Wolfson Medical Center, Holon.
From day one, my fear of this alien place melted away, when I was greeted in the airport by one of the team members of SACH, and came to the SACH house to be welcomed by the house mother Laura Kafif, who made sure to clear all my queries. It was like a home away from home.
I could not be left untouched by the relentless effort of the SACH team, helping children from all over the world get a new life after cardiac surgery, which they might not have received without this selfless support. During my stay, I could feel the satisfaction in the eyes of the children and their parents, going back home after treatment. This is simply priceless. Hats off to the team of SACH organization.
I am extremely thankful to Simon Fisher, executive director of SACH, for providing me this opportunity to enrich my knowledge and also to all the team members who have been regularly involved in training doctors from other parts of the world too.
I would like to thank Dr. Charles MacAdams from Canada, who has been my inspiration to get enrolled in this program. My extreme gratitude also goes to Prof. Ezri, Head, Department of Anesthesia of Wolfson Medical Centre, Holon and hospital administration who provided me this wonderful opportunity.
I will make sure to use my skills obtained from this training program to help the children in need, and also wish to extend my help to SACH if needed.
Dr. Yayehyirad Mekonnen, Ethiopia
Dr. Yayehyirad Mekonnen from Ethiopia is currently training to be the first pediatric heart surgeon in Ethiopia
My name is Dr.Yayehyirad Mekonnen. I am 29 years old and Ethiopian in Nationality. I studied both my undergraduate medical studies and speciality training in General surgery in a town called Jimma, Ethiopa in one of the few referral hospitals in my country named Jimma University Specialized Hospital.
Growing up, it was always my everyday dream to become a doctor. That’s all I ever wanted to be!! So the pursuit of this kind of dream in Ethiopia is the kind which needs hard work and dedication to put it simply. I finished my residency in general surgery and started working and teaching medical students in the same hospital. But in between my stay in this hospital, which serves more than 10,000,000 patients across the South Western part of the country, I knew in my heart that helping sick kids was my call. I had a fascination towards children cardiac surgery, even if I knew for a fact that my country never had anyone trained in that field. No matter how much noble and respected I knew the field was it didn’t stop me from wishing to be one.
I had a fortunate chance of being taught by a professor of paediatric cardiology who was trained with SACH, in Israel. He always was good model and encouraged me to pursue this field of paediatric cardiac surgery. Then I knew about SACH and followed up the amazing work they were doing with kids with surgical cardiac conditions. It was the best of both worlds for me, they treat the kind of condition I will definitely face in my practice and yet with a better excellence from setup wise. Then I decided to apply for an opportunity to study with SACH in Israel. But this was not an easy decision to make because when I am done I know that I will have to return with better knowledge, skill and determination to start cardiac surgery unit in my hospital from a scratch.
The SACH group was generous enough to grant me the chance to come to Israel and train with their dedicated staff and take my dream to the next level. Looking at the cured and smiling children, the caring family of SACH who treat every child as their own, the relieved parents from every corner of this world that their kids got their smiles back is an everyday confirmation that I made the right decision coming to study here.
Currently, I am pursuing my studies with a lot of interest and it only makes it better that I am being attended by doctors with vast experience in the field and whose habits are caring for kids with all their heart. I dream of making it to the end of this study and be able to take on the challenge waiting for me. Thank you!
Dr. Benard Kenemo, Tanzania
Dr. Benard Kenemo is currently training in Anesthesia, 2012-2013
It was always a long wait to come to train in Israel after being inspired by the mission of SACH in helping the needy children to undertake cardiac operations.
I enjoyed a warm welcome right at the airport on arrival and, as I started my studies I have been around an exemplary team work; cooperative, which make my studies smooth.
One important thing that I realized is how the SACH team has been working tirelessly to manage a big number of children with heart diseases from almost every part of the world where they can not afford cardiac operations.
I sincerely want to thank the SACH administration for giving me this invaluable opportunity for indepth training in Anesthesia and I promise to offer my best support in making a good team toward this noble mission of Saving a Child’s Heart.
God bless you all!
Dr. Galiya Ibragimova, Uzbekistan
Dr. Galiya Ibragimova trained in pediatric cardiac anesthesia
My impression on the medical level in Israel was of a highly professional level.
The anesthesiologists here are very well prepared and always ready to explain and help.
I was deeply impressed by the standard of medical treatment of the very sick kids coming here from all over the world to undergo cardiac surgery as their last chance to survive.
I’m taking all the skills and knowledge acquired here to improve our standards back in my country, Uzbekistan.
Dr. Naiz Majani-Mnong’one
Dr. Naiz Majani-Mnong’one is currently training in Pediatric Cardiology, 2012-2013
My name is Naiz Majani-Mnong’one, I am a Tanzanian Pediatrician from Bugando Medical Center in Northwestern Tanzania. I first heard about SACH in 2008 when they came to my hospital for the first time in a screening mission. I was in my second year of residency by then and so I had an opportunity to work with the team. Their determination, hardworking spirit and love for children moved me a lot.
I am here since two months now for pediatric cardiology fellowship and I know for sure there couldn’t be a better place for me to specialize in pediatric cardiology than at Wolfson Medical Center with SACH team. First it’s because the team (doctors, nurses etc) is so experienced, knowledgeable and ready to teach. In the short time I have been with the team, I have gain an enormous amount of knowledge and am sure I will gain a lot more by the end of my stay here.
Secondly it’s because they receive a number of children from Africa, which for me simulates the environment which I will be working after I finish. Specializing in home diseases away from home is a very rare thing, this is because there aren’t enough places in Africa where one can get pediatric cardiology specialization and in most cases you have to study abroad and you have little chances of seeing what I see here. It’s a great opportunity and I am thankful for that.
I witnessed a number of children with cardiac diseases from different countries that came here for heart surgeries; it’s amazing how their health changes immediately after surgery. There are many projects that deals with children, but this project is one of its own kind, in a sense that it touches a child’s life directly and changes it immediately. I take this opportunity to congratulate the SACH team for the wonderful job they are doing and thank them for giving me this opportunity to learn cardiology with them.
Dr. Othman Abu Salah
Dr. Othman Abu Salah trained in the PICU, 2010 – 2011
I am Dr. Othman Abu Salah, a Pediatrician from Palestine, living in Nablus.
I have been working in Nablus at the Rafidia hospital, in the pediatric department for the last 15 years.
I was chosen by my chief of department to come to Wolfson medical center to participate in PEDIATRIC INTENSIVE CARE UNIT, which is a part of a project cooperation between the Palestinian ministry of health and the SAVE A CHILD’S HEART organization to upgrade the knowledge in this field for Palestinian doctors.
I started my practice in October 2010 and the period is extended to the end of December 2011.
During my stay here I got a great knowledge in this field of medicine and skills which I didn’t know before. This was gratefully done by my expert trainer Dr. Sion Houri and his deputy Dr. Ilan Cohen , who gave me a great impression about dealing with many kinds of diseases in the PICU and skills in dealing with machines there, from mechanical ventilation to peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, plasmophoresis and inserting vascular central lines and so on.
These procedures were done for kids from all over the world – Palestinians, Iraqi, Africans, Asians and even Israeli, not looking who is the kid or what is his race or color.
Beside this I had an opportunity to attend medical conferences in other Israeli hospitals – Tel Hashomer, Ikhilov and Shaare Zedek. I am also going to attend the European society for intensive care medicine congress in Berlin – Germany.
From the social side I had great relations with my colleagues in the unit starting from the chief, to residents, to nurses and I participated in organizing a picnic with a barbeque party in some local park.
For my family, I had also an opportunity to get permission for them to come for sightseeing.
At the end I want to thank everyone who gave me this chance and everyone who helped me in staying here:
My trainers Dr. Sion , Dr. Ilan
Mr. Simon Fisher, SACH’s Executive Director
Mrs. Sarah Nevo, SACH’s Office Manager
Mrs. Laura Kafif, SACH’s Housemother
Mrs. Dawn Mizrahi, Medical Secretary
And all the others I didn’t mention
Dr. Ernestina Kitale Kimaro, Tanzania
Dr. Ernestina Kimaro trained in Anesthesiology during June 2011
My Trip to Israel
I thank God for connecting me with SACH’s organization and for bringing me to Israel. The reception at the airport was very good.
The workers at Wolfson Medical Center, where our short observation course was conducted, were very good, ready to share their knowledge with us.
During my short stay I have realised that they are working as a team to achieve the same goal.
For the same purpose and if we are to get the same results in Tanzania, we need to train our team to get skilled men and women as surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, perfusionists, technicians, ICU team and cardiologists.
I am also thankful for SACH’s cardiac team’s plan to reach out to Muanza, Tanzania to save our children.
God bless you
Welcome to Tanzania
Dr. Ernestina Kitale Kimaro
Nurse Martha Happe Makula, Tanzania
Nurse Martha Makula trained in the Operating Room during June 2011
My trip to Israel
I take this opportunity to thank SACH for your kindness. I have enjoyed very much in Israel. To me it was a very special trip, people were very cooperative in the hospital and I learned a lot about working in the Operating Room. I want to thank you for my trip to Jerusalem and for your invitation to stay 1 month in Israel to train in the operating room.
Thank you also for everything you provided to us, including the transportation, food and good communication with everyone in the house at Save a Child’s Heart.
Welcome to Tanzania
Thank you very much
May God bless you.
Matha Happe Makula
Nurse Thomas Augustino Kamani, Tanzania
Nurse Thomas A. Kamani trained in Perfusion during June 2011
My one month stay at Wolfson Medical Center
For the month of June 2011, I worked in the perfusion department as part of my medical training at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel.
During my time there, I learned a great deal from the medical experts at the perfusion department.
I would like to thank those who provided valuable assistance and training during my time here in Israel. It has been a real pleasure to work alongside such talented and caring medical professionals. Additionally, I would like to thank “Save A Child’s Heart” for offering me this special opportunity and for providing me with the necessary financial assistance to come to Israel. The knowledge gained from this experience will be put to good use back in my home country of Tanzania.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the almighty God for guiding my family and me during my absence, as well as, all who helped me during my stay.
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Dr. Godwin for his ability to communicate with the administration on behalf of our Tanzanian medical delegation. I hope in the future more doctors and medical professionals will come to learn about the amazing services provided by ‘Save A Child’s Heart’ and the medical staff at the Wolfson Medical Center.
God Bless You All
Thomas A. Kamani
Dr. Xiaoli Zhu, China
Dr. Xiaoli Zhu trained in the ICU and the Cardiac Surgery Ward, 2010 – 2011
Hi, I am Lysow, a Chinese doctor.
I have trained in Wolfson Medical Center for one year.
The first half of the year I worked in the ICU, and trained with Dr. Houri. During the second half, I worked in the cardiac surgery ward, and trained with Dr. Tamir.
During this year I learned a lot. Now my colleagues say that they find I took great changes.
Save a Child’s Heart, Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity!
All the Doctors, Thank you very much for teaching me a lot!
All the friends I’ve made, Thank you very much for giving me the happiness!
Dr. Kitoga, Democratic Republic of Congo
Dr. Kitoga trained in Pediatric Cardiology, Jan-March 2010
The time at Wolfson was focused on pediatric cardiology. This was a very excellent time of training. If I had known what it would be earlier I would have liked to spend more time.
In Wolfson everyone worked together as a team on each case, from the pediatrician to the surgeon. Everyone shared, discussed about the problems with that case. This was a very good experience for me. There was no guarding “my case”. You don’t see this in Congo.
The differences between adult and pediatric cardiology are enormous. I didn’t realize before how much that it is; this is also the case between pediatric and adult echocardiography. In Belgium we learned that pediatric is easy, just the same, but at Wolfson I experienced how complicated and complex pediatric echocardiography is, how many irregularities there are. And the follow-up practices between adult and pediatric cardiology are also so different. This has been a huge learning experience for me.
[Here in Israel] people are so ready to help you learn, to share information and to teach you.
Dr. Rula Awwad, Palestinian Authority
Dr. Rula Awwad trained in the Pediatric Cardiology Unit, 2004-2007
My name is Rula N. Awwad, born in Ramallah on the 22nd of April, 1974. I live with my family in Beit-Sahour, a city near Bethlehem in the West Bank.
After High-School I travelled to Jordan for 6 years to study medicine. I graduated in 1998 and after that I did a 4-year residency in Pediatrics at Makassed hospital in Jerusalem.
I was interested in treating kids with heart diseases and always had the dream to enter this field. After contacting Simon Fisher, Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) executive director and Dr. Akiva Tamir, the chief pediatric cardiologist at the Wolfson Medical Center, I was given this opportunity.
My fellowship in pediatric cardiology through SACH lasted from January 2004 until April 2007. Through these three and half years, I learned a lot; it was not only medicine and cardiology. I was affected by “Save a Child`s Heart”. And by how kids with congenital heart defects are being treated; not only Asians, not only Africans, not only Palestinians. It doesn`t matter what color or what ethnic group, the only important thing is that there is a sick child with heart disease who needs help.
I spent three and a half years, every week passing the check point of Bethlehem to reach the hospital and it took me about 4 hours every time. I always felt upset, angry, and bothered to pass this procedure, but the feeling always passed when I started to work with the great team of SACH; to learn from Dr. Tamir and Dr. Alona – they were and are my friends.
I will always owe Dr. Tamir who gave me the chance to achieve my dream and always supported me through this way. After I finished my training, I continued to come to the Palestinian clinic on Tuesdays, to keep up-to-date in cardiology field and to follow my patients.
Dr. Vera Borsevschi, Moldova
Dr. Vera Borsevschi trained in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 2007-2008
When I was accepted to the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) pediatric intensive care training program I did not know a lot about SACH. After a very short time I understood what this group of people do for children who have no chance to survive in their countries…
I’m happy to say that I saw an example for teamwork in such a high level and I will try to involve this in my country. If I succeed you can be sure that a large part of my success is thanks to my experience with the SACH team.
Finally I want to thank those who made this possible for me and the team of doctors and nurses from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In addition to learning at the ICU I also trained at the Anesthesia department…I hope that I will continue the collaboration with this project…
We wish great success in what you doing!
Dr. Han Jiangang, China
Dr. Han Jiangang is training in the Cardio Vascular Department
Happy New Year!
How are you doing? I am so nervous knowing the bloody conflict between your country and Palestine. We hope it will end up soon, and all of our Israel friends safe and happy.
From Children’s Hospital of Hebei Province
Review of My Training Program:
I’d like to say: It was a fascinating experience.
As a fellow cardiac surgeon from Hebei Province Children’s Hospital, I had been trained at the Wolfson Medical Center during August 2007 until February 2008, with the help of Save a Child’s Heart.
I was instructed by Dr. Lior Sasson, chief of the department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular, a distinguished cardiac surgeon. His procedure was as classic as a notebook, his operative table was always neat and clean. I participated in more than 150 cases of open-heart surgery, totally; not only routine surgeries, but also difficult complex cardiac procedures, such as Fontan procedure, artery switch, atrium switch, unification of pulmonary , correction patent truncus artery, et al, some of them was the first twice I had seen.
It was exciting to work with Dr Sasson. I was shocked by his perfect style and excellent skills.
Also I learned a lot of useful techniques from Lior, such as better operative exposure, various of ways to repair heart values, correct judgment of disease condition and suitable choice of procedure accordingly.
All in all, the training program had turned me to a new one as a cardiac surgeon, and it would greatly benefit for my career all my life.
Dr. Tam T. Doan, Vietnam
Dr. Tam T. Doan trained in the Pediatric Cardiology Unit, 2006-2007
After treating Vietnamese children with complex heart diseases, Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) sent a medical team to visit Children’s Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam with the intention of supporting the cardiac program there.
That was where I met great people and had the opportunity to start one of the most interesting journeys in my life. Following the offer I received from Dr. Akiva Tamir, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at the E. Wolfson Medical Center and Simon Fisher, Executive Director of SACH, I decided to further my training in Israel in the field of Pediatric Cardiology.
I arrived in Tel-Aviv International Airport after the war in the north of Israel had ended. My fellowship through SACH at the E. Wolfson Medical Center lasted from August 2006 to August 2007. Like other medical people in training with SACH, I stayed at SACH house together with the children from different corners of the globe. I travelled to the hospital every day except Shabbat to help treat the children with heart diseases and to learn from the great team.
I participated actively in the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic, took care of the children in the Pediatric ICU, and the Pediatric Surgical Ward.
I joined the cardiologists doing consultations from the Pediatric Department, Neonatal ICU and Newborn Nursery. I participated in most of the cardiac catheterizations, performed and read many transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms, and started to learn fetal echocardiography under the guidance of Dr. Tamir and the Cardiology team.
I also had the honour to observe many cardiac surgeries performed by world-class cardiac surgeon, Dr. Lior Sasson. I made a presentations in the department and at the Israeli Pediatric Cardiology Conference. I met and worked with medical students from Israel, USA, Canada, Ireland, and Jordan who came to do their electives.
At SACH/WMC, I witnessed the expertise of the medical team with excellent outcomes, and the children’s bravery to overcome their illnesses. What makes the children special is that they came from different ethnic backgrounds; some of them came with no parent by their side, played together, underwent heart surgeries, recovered, and went home to have normal lives. I met, learned, and made friends with the volunteers at SACH who also came from different part of the world. Together, we gave our hands and hearts to make a difference in these children’s lives.
I owe Dr. Tamir for his support along my way and the mentorship and friendship that he offers. His teaching method was very thorough. He shared with me many of his life and medical experiences. He always asked me if my room was good enough and whether I had enough food to eat or I had warm clothes for the winter. Many of Jewish holidays are very family-oriented, and I was invited to attend most of the occasions with his family. These will remain as unforgettable memories in my life.
The experience I had at SACH/WMC was unique. I was trained by talented specialists, came across with different cultures of the Jewish, the Arab, the Ethiopian, and the Tanzanian.
I took the chance to travel across Israel to see the most conflict and beautiful city of Jerusalem, the liveliness of Tel-Aviv, the gaunt and majestic beauty of Masada, the uniqueness of the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea, the fresh beauty in front of the Sea of Galilee, and many more archaeological, biblical, and historical sites.
I spent my 2006 Christmas Eve with my fellow friend’s family, Dr. Rula Awwad’s in the West Bank, and attended the ceremony inside the Mass in Bethlehem.
Together with my friend, Einav Barazany, one of the most active volunteers at SACH, made trips to Egypt and Jordan. We enjoyed the feeling of standing in front of the imposing Pyramid of Giza, Egypt – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the other time exploring the Rose-red City of Petra, Jordan – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
One may consider one year is a long time, but in this particular time of my life, I feel it ended too soon. It made my life richer and affected my way of thinking. I learned so much from the people I met. I know that I will carry this on to make myself a better person and advance my career to a higher level. I’m happy to see SACH is growing and keeping up with the great work.
Tam T. Doan, MD.
Dr. Etsegenet Gedlu, Ethiopia
Dr. Etsegenet Gedlu trained in Pediatric Cardiology, 2003
Dr. Etsegenet Gedlu was a fellow in the Cardiology Unit of the Wolfson Medical Center in 2003 as part of the Save a Child’s Heart training program.
She is member of the medical faculty, department of Paediatrics and Child health at Addis Ababa University and a cardiologist in the Children’s Heart Foundation, Ethiopia.
Dr. Maniuc Liviu, Moldova
Dr. Maniuc Liviu trained in the Cardio Vascular Department, 2006-2007
I left to Israel with fear because of the information I heard about the conflict and war zone. Everything I saw and everyone I met in Israel made me change my mind completely.
I met well-wishers and friendly people who where always ready to be helpful and I saw the great and wonderful historical places described in the Bible.
Concerning the medicine; the system there is ultra-modern and the doctors are true professionals. Help is given to absolutely everyone, without paying attention to the nationality, religion, political aspiration or social statement.
Referring to my professional activity after this experience and the work with such kind of unbelievable specialists as Lior Sasson; I would say I have changed my working style through gaining more trust in myself . I started to operate more complicated cases, which before Israel I never took part in, especially with new born babies. What gives us hope and trust is that the results are really good.
The trip to China impressed me a lot; although I made many operations, I had also time to travel and visit a lot of fantastic places.
Last year the Israeli doctor’s team visited the Cardio Surgery Center from Chisinau. It was very pleasant for me to meet the old friends, because in Israel we were like a family and I was missing them a lot. The team operated on some complicated cases and the results were excellent.
At the end, I would like to congratulate the whole team of the cardio surgery of the Wolfson Medical Center, to wish them health, good luck, great results at the work they do saving lives not only in Israel but in the entire world.
And I can seem selfish but I would really love to repeat the experience in Israel, to see one more time the wonderful places and to meet my old friends and to work together in Pediatric Cardio Surgery.
Nurse Yuna Jiang (Anita), China
Nurse Yuna Jiang (Anita) received further training in the operating theatre, 2007
Every time I hear news about Israel, I now pay more attention to them. I have so many good memories and an unforgettable experience.
In 2007, I was so lucky to study in Israel with the help of Save a Child’s Heart (SACH).
I arrived in the beautiful country when all the Israeli friends were in deep sleep in four o’clock in the morning. On the way to the SACH home, Simon Fisher, executive director of SACH showed me the beach of the Mediterranean Sea. I Hold my breath in the darkness, I could hear the sound of the sea, feel the taste of the sea and I liked everything there so much.
One hour later, we finally reached the SACH home. When the door opened, a woman said hello and smiled to us friendly. She was a nurse from Ethiopia who cared for all the children from Ethiopia.
I looked around the house, so many books on the bookshelves, all kinds of tools on the ground and a lot of pictures and colourful balloons on the wall. Everything was clean and interesting. At that time I thought I was in the cartoon world.
Then I arranged my luggage and had a rest in my room upstairs. Suddenly I was woken by the sound of music and the laugh of children. I got up and went downstairs to see what happened. Several children came near to me -held my hands, kissed my face and sang special songs for me. They were white, black, yellow with black hair, white hair and gold hair. They didn’t feel shy at all
During the next few days, I learned more and more information about SACH…
In order to be a nurse in the operating room, I had to study in the Wolfson Medical Center during the day and live with the children with congenital heart diseases together during night .
Every day when I came from work or on weekend days, so many volunteers from all over the world would come to the house to play with the children.
They were teachers, students, workers…. They were kind, warm and honest and always brought toys, clothes, food and books to the children. They were devoted with all their hearts to all the children regardless where they were from.
I realized I was not only a learner, but also a volunteer. In addition to play with the children outside when I was free, I would supervise the children to sleep before nine o’clock every evening, because it was good to their health. Even when children and mothers did not feel well, I would call the doctors, find some medicine for them or call for the taxis to bring them to the hospital in the mid-night.
Time goes so fast, I have been back in China for two months. I miss my good friends, my teachers in the Wolfson Medical Center, the beach…and the beautiful scene of Israel.
I first want to thank SACH for giving me the opportunity to study in the Wolfson Medical Center for half of year. I now know how to devote to others, to do more benefit for the people and for society.
And also, I thank all my good friends in the Wolfson Medical Center for teaching me so much…to be an excellent nurse in the operating room, how to cooperate with the other nurses, the surgeons and doctors. It is so important.
I have given a lecture about what I saw and learned to all the nurses in my hospital since I came back from Israel and received good responses.
I believe I have made a big progress in my study, my work and my English.
SACH is great, it is right that to save a child’s heart is to save a world. I wish SACH will be better and better, the Wolfson Medical Cener will be stronger and stronger, all the children with congenital heart diseases from the all over the world will be happier and happier!
A nurse in Hebei Provincal Children’s Hospital
Nurse Yan Hua Wang, China
Yan Hua Wang received further training in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 2004
It seems that it happened yesterday though 4 years passed since I left Israel. It was in November 2003 that I went to Israel for training. I stayed there for 6 months. I saw and learned a lot during that time.
First of all, I want to talk about the professional knowledge:
I was in the Pediatric ICU and the Cath Lab at the Wolfson Medical Center During the 6 months I was in Israel. Sometime I went to the Operating Room.
I learned new concepts and professional knowledge in addition to the routine care in PICU. For example:
(1) About the pain care. All the Staff pays more attention to the pain. They do what they can to release the patients’ pain after cardiac surgery.
(2) Motion care. They allow the parents to accompany the child. This is not allowed in our hospital but we now know this is much better than any drug therapy.
(3) I learned more new concepts about post operative care such as the use of pacemaker, ECMO, ventilator……
The second part is about the Children’s home in Azur:
This home is a place where I lived in during the time. I saw the children with CHD from different developing country waiting for surgery .The children live there as they live at home. They play games, draw pictures and watch cartoon. I saw some volunteers come there and help. I was moved by this.
SACH gave the children the chance to have a better life because they can’t get surgery in their own countries. I felt the love among different nations, race, age…… I felt the love SACH gave; it is so great that I really appreciate it.
At the same time I feel I’m lucky because SACH gave me the chance to learn professional knowledge and gave me the chance to help the children with CHD.
The third part is that all the doctors and nurses cooperate so well. They sit together and discuss the case before surgery and after surgery.
This gave me a deep impression. I think that is the most important factor that the surgery is successful. I really hope we can do like that in our hospital one day.
In the end I wish all children with CHD could get a wonderful life after they get the help from SACH.
Yan Hua Wang
Dr. Omar Assali, Palestinian Authority
Dr. Omar Assali trained in the Pediatric Cardiology Unit, 2005-2006
After I finished two years in Pediatric Cardiology in, I was interested in gaining more experience in the field, so I contact Mr. Simon Fisher and Dr. Akiva Tamir from Save a Child’s Heart (SACH).
I spent one year training at the Wolfson Medical Center. During this period of time all of the SACH team was very kind, generous, and helpful, not only with me but also with the patients (no matter what was their his nationality)
I thank Mr. Simon Fisher for making everything possible. I thank Dr. Tamir for the Knowledge he gave me and for being there whenever I needed and I thank SACH for helping the Patients
Dr. Omar Assali
Dr. Wang Zhe, China
Dr. Wang Zhe trained in the Cardiac surgery Unit, 2004-2005
My training experience
Dr. Wang Zhe
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery in Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050011,P.R.China.
Supported by Save a Child’s Heart, I was trained in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and learned from Dr. Lior Sasson in the Wolfson Medical Center from October 2004 to May 2005.
After returning to China on May 2005, I have carried out surgical treatment of complex congenital heart including Tetralogy of Fallot, the arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries, atrioventricular canal defects, total anomalous pulmonary venous connection, two-stage Fontan operation, coarctation of the aorta, plastic of mitral valve, etc. palliative operation in some complex congential heart diseases .
It is around 200 cases every year that the operation of CHD performed by me.
Dr. Wafiq Othman, Palestinian Authority
Dr. Wafiq Othman is training in Anesthesia since 2006
My name is Wafiq S.A. Othman, born in Salfeet on the 23 of April, 1977. I live with my family in Bedy, a city near Nablus in the West Bank. I am married and have two children.
After High-School I travelled to Ukraine for 6 years to study medicine. I graduated in 2001 and after that I worked three years in the Salfeet emergency hospital.
I was interested in treating cases in Anesthesia, especially in children, because in the West Bank we are missing this filed of medicine. I heard about the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) through the Palestinian Dr. Omar Assali who has been in cooperation with SACH…
My fellowship in Anesthesia through SACH lasted from November 2006 and is still continuing. During these two years, I trained in Anesthesia and I want to thank Prof. Ezri and all the doctors and nurses at the Wolfson Medical Center.
I was also sent by SACH to Austria to take part in a cardiac conference.
I saw many children that were operated by the very good surgeon Dr. Sasson and I met many children and families and saw children from different countries (Asia, Africa, Palestinian Authority, Russia and Ukraine)…
I have a brother who had a heart disease and underwent an unsuccessful heart surgery in the Palestinian Authority. I came to Dr. Tamir from SACH, he is the chief Pediatric Cardiologist at the Wolfson Medical Center, and I told him about my brother. He offered to examine my brother and said he needed an operation. Dr. Sasson operated my brother and now he feels very good. He is studying and he plays football in school.
In my fellowship, the only problem is the check point of Qalqelia; it takes me about four hours to reach the hospital. I always feel upset and angry, but the feeling always disappear when I start to work with the great team of SACH and with Prof. Ezri, Dr. Khazin and all the nurses who work in the hospital.
Professor Abraham Haileamlak Mitike, Ethiopia
Professor Abraham Haileamlak Mitike, a physician from Ethiopia, trained in Israel with SACH for a year in Pediatric Cardiology in 2009. Abraham returned back to Ethiopia in September 2010 and now works in Jimma University Hospital, referring children from Ethiopia to SACH.
He is a dedicated and vital member of the SACH team and joined us on our climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro on August 2011.