web analytics
May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Rare Crossover Kidney Transplantation Brings Together Jews And Arabs

Transplant patients David Ben-Yair (left) and Muhammad Eckert meet after their operations (Piotr Fliter)

Transplant patients David Ben-Yair (left) and Muhammad Eckert meet after their operations (Piotr Fliter)

HAIFA – A rare kidney transplantation between Jewish and Arab family members was successfully performed last week by Dr. Rawi Ramadan, director of Rambam Hospital’s Medical Transplantation Unit in the Department of Nephrology. According to a hospital spokesperson, both patients have returned home to their respective families in the metropolitan Haifa region.

The two patients, David Ben-Yair, 57, and Muhammad Eckert, 32, received organs from unlikely donors, with Eckert’s wife, Ra’sha, donating a kidney to Ben-Yair and Ben-Yair’s son Shmuel donating his kidney to Eckert. Prior to the operation the health of both patients had taken a turn for the worse as their failing kidneys required them to undergo regular dialysis treatments. Up until the operation, Ben-Yair and Eckert had never met.

In an interview with The Jewish Press, Dr. Ramadan explained how this unique medical encounter came about.

“We test every patient that has a living donor in order to evaluate if such a transplant can be done within the family,” said Dr. Ramadan. “But sometimes one of the patients has a blood type or antibodies that doesn’t match with the other family member. In this particular case, the Jewish father had antibodies in his blood that weren’t an exact match with his son.

“With today’s medical technologies, we could have actually performed the transplant within the same family but we would have had to give them a lot of pre-operative medications, which come with both short-term and long-term side effects. Thus, it was better to do the exchange between the Jewish and Arab families, as both patients received the same quality of kidneys and we were able to treat them with a minimal amount of anti-rejection medications.”

While this type of procedure is rare in Israel, it is not unheard of. “There was something similar performed about eight years ago, also between Jewish and Arab couples. But if someone doesn’t walk in the front door like these two families did, we have a database for patients waiting for various types of transplants, where we will check other hospitals in the area as well,” Dr. Ramadan said.

When the doctor concluded that both Ben-Yair and Eckert could benefit from a complicated but doable cross-transplantation, he suggested the delicate procedure to both families individually.

“There was never any hesitation. To them, it didn’t matter who donated to whom. As far as they are concerned, they donated a kidney to a family member, and their donation saved a life,” said Dr. Ramadan, who has been performing transplants for nearly 20 years.

“I am an Arab physician and I have yet to come across a case where a Jew and an Arab refused to donate to the other side. Everyone who donates is resolving a critical problem on both sides. Though the operation involving the Ben-Yairs and Eckerts was complicated, there were no real inherent dangers.”

Last week, the donors, Ra’sha Eckert and Shmuel Ben-Yair, entered adjacent operating rooms simultaneously for the procedure to remove their kidneys. The surgery lasted about three hours. Immediately after surgery, the two were moved to recovery rooms and Muhammad Eckert and David Ben-Yair entered surgery. Their surgeries lasted about three and a half hours.

When the families met for the first time after the cross-transplantation, it was an emotionally charged encounter.

“We talked about everything – children, family, life, what we went through,” said David Ben-Yair. “Muhammad is a lovely person and I’m glad to know him. Fate brought us together, connected our bodies and minds.”

Muhammad Eckert also praised David. “David is a great man,” he said. “We enjoy and care about each other. We are an integral part of one another now – really family. Whoever saves a life is sacred, whether Jewish or Arab. God’s blessing will prevail.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Rare Crossover Kidney Transplantation Brings Together Jews And Arabs”

  1. That the kidney of a brain dead Israeli boy was donated to save the life of a Palestinian child, that an ailing Tukish Leader ws treated successfully in Israel, that rare conjoined non-Israeli conjoined twins were separated by Israeli doctors at the Israeli Rambam Hospital, demonstrates that people need each other and can help each other rather than be hostile, hate and hurt each other. Let's all of us resolve to make that a habit and our goal in life. That is and would be the most religious thing to do.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Two killed after opening fire on police at AFDI art contest for best Mohammed cartoon.
Two Suspects Shot Dead Following Shooting at TX ‘Free Speech’ Event
Latest News Stories
Two killed after opening fire on police at AFDI art contest for best Mohammed cartoon.

Shooting at AFDI’s Mohammed cartoon art contest in Texas, two dead.

Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.

Hundreds of Israeli Ethiopians continued protests in Tel Aviv on Sunday, blocking traffic on the Ayalon Highway and elsewhere in the city.

Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Nechemya Wilhelm, director of Chabad-Ohr Menachem of Bangkok .

Rabbi Nechemya Wilhelm, director of Ohr Menachem-Bangkok Chabad House, is one of the recipients of the Jerusalem Unity Award.

The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue -- the oldest synagogue in North Africa -- on the Tunisian island of Djerba in 2009.

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau is warning citizens not to travel to Tunisia, especially during Lag B’Omer.

‘Survey Monkey’ CEO David Goldberg, husband of Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, dies suddenly Friday night at age 47.

A 37-year old Chareidi man, Meir Lebel “haRakdan haYerushalmi” (the dancing Jerusalemite), was seen breathing fire at the Kotel, the Tower of David and other locations in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 29, 2015. Fire breathing is the act of creating a plume of fire by breathing a stream of fuel over an open flame. […]

Rescue workers have found the body of the last missing Israeli, 22-year-old Or Ashraf, on Mt. Everest in a “complicated” location.

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

On June 3rd, senior Israeli officials will hold two events in memory of a trio of teenagers who were abducted and murdered last summer by Hamas terrorists.

Israeli search teams have found documents connected to Israeli Or Asraf who has been missing in Nepal since last week’s disastrous earthquake, several Twitter accounts have reported. The death toll from the quake has risen to 6,841, and Nepalese officials said there is virtually no chance of finding anyone alive. Asraf’s relatives have flown to […]

“Yes, Iran didn’t keep economic agreements, but a nuclear deal is different.” Why? Well, because it’s different.

Senior Israeli officials will hold two events on June 3 in memory of a trio of teenagers who were abducted and murdered last summer by Hamas terrorists. Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize would promote tolerance and cooperation between different sectors of the Jewish People in Israel and the Diaspora, organizers said. The prize […]

Kachlon is sounding suspiciously like Yair Lapid, the last government’s supposed champion of “social justice.”

The giant Rami Levi discount supermarket chain is negotiating to buy the financially troubled Mega stores, but it is doubtful that the talks will be fruitful, Globes reported. Rami Levi has became known for low prices, with special sales such as offering chickens at one shekel a kilogram, and for building stores in Judea and […]

The “symbolic fee” would supposedly force an improvement in tourist services, but would the pope and Jimmy Carter fork up the shekels?

More Articles from Steve K. Walz
: Israeli soldiers leave Gaza late Monday. A three-day cease-fire brokered by Egypt put an end, at least temporarily, to the fighting. See story, above.

As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.

Walz-080114-Map

The operation against the tunnels is a first and necessary step in the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/rare-crossover-kidney-transplantation-brings-together-jews-and-arabs/2013/06/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: