It was a picture of Nour, a sweet one-year-old from Gaza who has Congenital Heart Disease, and needs life-saving surgeries and treatments to repair her heart. Congenital Heart Disease is a type of defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs while the fetus is developing in the uterus, and affects 8-10 out of every 1,000 children. Nour's prohibitively-expensive medical treatments are being sponsored by Save a Child's Heart (SACH), an organization founded by synagogue members Dr. Ovadiah and Dolores Cohen.
Established in memory of their son Dr. Ami Cohen, SACH is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease, and to create centers of competence in these countries. SACH is "totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation." According to its website, SACH has helped save the lives of more than 200 children from Angola, China, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, the Palestinian Authority, the Philippines, Romania, Sudan, Uganda and Zanzibar. Since the project was founded, SACH has treated more than 1,000 Palestinian children.
Nour was born at term weighing 4 kgs and diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease at the age of one month when her parents took her to the doctor because she had a cold and turned bluish. Nour's father is a Gaza policeman and her mother is a university student. Nour has an 8-year-old brother, and three sisters aged 9, 7 and 5. On March 15, 2009, Nour underwent her first open heart surgery at Al-Muqased hospital in East Jerusalem. She was later referred to SACH to undergo further treatment. On December 24, 2009, Nour underwent a diagnostic cardiac catheterization under the hands of Dr. Akiva Tamir and his team. This paved the way for the January 2010 surgery performed by Dr. Lior Sasson and his team of experts.
It is heartwarming to see members of the synagogue donating to this important cause, which embodies our core values. Please join us in this endeavor - you can donate directly to the Foundation here or to the synagogue here (and earmark it to the Foundation). Help us mend the hearts of children from developing countries by financially sponsoring the children's treatments and by training local doctors with the requisite knowledge to perform these life-saving procedures.