Israeli parents turned tragedy into hope and healing after donating the kidney of their 3 year old son who lost his life in a tragic fall to a young Palestinian boy with kidney failure in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
According to the Talmud, “Whoever saves a life, it is as if he saves the entire world.” The parents of three-year-old Noam Naor, Sarit and Avi Naor, decided to live by this principle, when they donated the kidney of their son who was pronounced brain dead upon falling from a fourth floor window to a young Palestinian boy, Yakoub Ibhisad, who was suffering from a kidney failure.
“I thought about Shimon Peres’ efforts for peace with our neighbors and realized I was making the right decision,” Sarit said. “Knowing I saved a life gives me great comfort and the power to go on. It was not an easy choice, but I today I am happy I made it. It doesn’t matter that it’s a Palestinian boy, I wish it would bring us peace.”
The Israeli leadership has praised the virtuous decision made by Noam’s parents. “In my eyes, Noam’s parents are noble and an inspiration to us all,” Health Minister Yael German said. “Their donation is a source of pride and an example of humanity and kindness,” the minister said. “This is one of the most moving contributions to peace. It exploded all prejudices,” Peres told the parents. “According to Jewish tradition, every person is created in God’s image, and whoever saves a human being serves the essence of Judaism... You have made all of us proud.”
The father of Yakoub Ibhisad, Samir, was very appreciative. “I haven’t the words to thank the family that saved my son’s life. We’ve been through many years of suffering when my son was on dialysis and his life was in danger,” Samir said. “We are grateful for the donation and hope that God willing the couple will be blessed enough to have another child.” He claimed that after years of waiting for a transplant, his son was reborn.
Prior to the kidney transplant, Yakoub Ibhisad had been treated at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for the past seven years. None of his family members were able to donate their kidney to him. The Health Ministry’s Transplant Center contacted Sarit and Avi Naor, asking if they would be willing to donate their sons’ kidney to a Palestinian child. Upon consulting a rabbi regarding Jewish laws related to organ transplants, they agreed to do so. Avi said, “It doesn’t matter who gets the kidneys, so long as fewer children need to undergo dialysis treatments.” The transplant was performed at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva and Yakoub Ibhisad is reported to be in stable condition.
Out of all of the hospitals in Israel, the Schneider Children’s Medical Center performs the most pediatric organ transplants within Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post, “since the hospital was founded, it has carried out 400 heart, lung, liver, and kidney transplants in babies, children and youths with success rates equal to the best centers abroad.” Israeli hospitals routinely work to save Palestinian lives. In addition, Israeli hospitals have provided medical assistance to children from a variety of countries, including ones that don’t have a peace agreement with Israel, such as Syria and Iraq.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel