Baby Hena from Kurdistan with her uncle after arriving in Israel, April 1, 2021. (Courtesy/Shevet Achim) (Courtesy/Shevet Achim)
Baby Hena from Iraq

An Israeli aid agency brought two-month-old baby Hena from Iraq for life-saving treatment at Sheba Hospital.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Volunteers at the Shevet Achim aid organization were all smiles after they brought a tiny baby from the minority Yazidis of Iraq to Israel for life-saving treatment at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv.

Little Hena hails from Iraqi Kurdistan, where the Yazidi people have faced horrible persecution and genocide at the hands of Islamic State terrorists. Shevet Achim brings children from neighboring Arab countries to Israel for medical treatment.

Sheba Medical Center, which works with Shevet Achim, had sent official requests asking the babies be allowed into Israel on humanitarian grounds and Hena’s case was an urgent situation of life-and-death.

Last week the good news came and Hena was allowed into Israel with her uncle, and was immediately whisked from the airport to Sheba for treatment of numerous health complications, including pulmonary atresia, in which a heart defect makes it difficult for blood to reach the lungs to pick up oxygen.

Hena’s father spoke from refugee camp in Iraq, saying, “We are grateful to the State of Israel for helping us in these difficult circumstances. We thank you, truly. For us as Hena’s family, this is an enormous happiness,” reported the Times of Israel.

“When she arrived at the hospital in Tel Aviv we rejoiced,” he said, stressing that “the doctors did not spare any effort in treating her.”

Shevet Achim founder Jonathan Miles said eight other Iraqi children needing urgent heart surgery are expected to cross into Israel from Jordan this week where they will be met by organization members in Israel.

Miles thanked former Blue and White Knesset Member Michal Cotler-Wunsh and her staff for helping cut through the bureaucracy, saying her intervention made it happen.

“It encourages us to see the people of Israel enter into the fight to bring these children to Israel. We see them as the leaders and we are foreign volunteers in a small supporting role,” Miles said.

Shevet Achim has been working for two decades to arrange life-saving medical treatment in Israel for hundreds of Palestinian, Jordanian, Iraqi and Syrian children, the Times noted. The group also works closely with Save A Child’s Heart at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon that has treated over 5,000 children from around the world.



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