Over one month ago, IDF Paratroopers Brigade soldier, Shahar Shalev was critically wounded in the Gaza Strip battling Hamas during Operation Protective Edge early on in the war. Since Shalev’s hospitalization at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, the wounded solider has needed a platelet transfusion each day. However, with the stock of platelets running out at the hospital, Shahar’s parents recently turned to the Israeli public to help save their son’s life.
“We are in vital need of men aged 18-60 who are willing to donate platelets,” requested Shimon and Naomi Shalev, Shahar’s parents earlier this week. Platelets are fragments of cells in blood that come from the bone marrow, which play an important part in the clotting process and help prevent bleeding. They are collected through a special pumping process that can take anywhere from one to two hours.
Publicizing their request through an e-mail to their hometown, Alonei HaBashan, in the Golan Heights as well as to relatives who further spread the word, dozens of people have phoned Shimon to donate. “I received all kinds of phone calls from people I don’t know, saying they want to help,” said the father of the soldier to Israel Channel 2. “Thank you to the people of Israel who have devoted themselves to help us out. Every contribution was significant.”
Shalev was critically wounded on July 23, when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near his position in Kfar Younis, killing three other fellow combat soldiers; Lieutenant Paz Eliyahu, 22, of Kibbutz Evron, Staff Sergeant Lee Matt, 19 of Eilat, and Staff Sergeant, Shahar Dauber, 20 of Kibbutz Ginegar. Shahar’s right leg had to be amputated because of his injuries one week ago.
In light of the Shalevs’ public request, Rambam Medical Center stated this morning that the platelet stock has been replenished in the hospital and that the wounded soldier has enough platelets to keep him going, including a platelet donation from his father.