Kalai Housam Tarif donated a liver lobe to Jordanian boy. (Israel Prison Service via TPS) (Israel Prison Service via TPS)
Kalai Housam Tarif

A father of three from the northern Druze town of Maghar decided to donate part of his liver after hearing about the sick Jordanian boy via social media.

By Arye Green, TPS

Kalai Housam Tarif, an Israeli Prison Officer of the Druze community, donated half of his liver to an eight-year-old boy from Jordan with whom he had no previous connection.

Tarif, a father of three from the northern town of Maghar, decided to donate part of his liver after hearing about the sick Jordanian boy, Morsell Albelous, via social media.

After initial blood tests to establish compatibility, Tarif was summoned for further testing and a committee meeting to approve him as a donor. At the hospital, he met Albelous and said that he reminded him of his own 10-year-old boy, which inspired him to go through with the surgery.

The dangerous procedure took place at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikvah. During the surgery, about 40 to 60 percent of the donor’s liver is removed. The liver is divided into a right and left lobe, allowing the surgeon to separate the liver into two distinct parts that can function independently, one of which was donated to the boy.

Tarif joined the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) in 2008 as a guard at “Ktz’iot” prison in the south. He went on to take part in an officers course and study criminology. For the past year and a half, Tarif has commanded training programs for prison guards at the IPS.

“The first time I told my wife I want to donate she was shocked,” says Tarif, but after some thought, she came around and said, “You’re a big boy, and make your own decisions. Whatever decision you make, I’ll support you.”

His younger children didn’t fully understand, but his oldest said he’s “proud of his decision to save a boy’s life.”

The families met after the successful procedure, joyful and thankful.

“I didn’t know the kid was Druze, and I certainly would have done it regardless of his ethnic background. I’m just happy it worked out. My act has a significant impact; I wanted to save a life,” said Tarif.