Photo Credit: Soroka Medical Center
Illustration: A helicopter lands at Be'er Sheva's Soroka Hospital

A baby with a congenital heart defect who was born 10 days ago in Cyprus to refugees from Syria, was transferred on Wednesday on an emergency flight to Israel to undergo a heart transplant at Sheba Medical center in Tel Aviv.

“Lifesaving cooperation between Israel’s embassy in Cyprus and the Cypriot authorities!” tweeted Dan Poraz, Deputy Spokesman at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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“What a great way to end the week with this heartwarming story from Cyprus,” tweeted Yuval Rotem, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We are proud to take part in this young boy’s road to recovery. We wish him and his family health and happiness,” he added.

Similar operations have been carried out by Israel in the past.

In October 2018, a Syrian baby suffering from heart problems was flown from Cyprus to Israel to receive special treatment at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

That was the second time that baby was in Israel for treatment. In December 2017, just days after he was born, he was airlifted from the refugee camp in Cyprus to Israel for emergency surgery to repair a life-threatening heart defect.

Israel has long extended aid to Syrian refugees on its northern border and elsewhere.

The IDF launched Operation Good Neighbor in June August 2016 until September 2018 in which it provided more than 110 aid operations of various kinds to the Syrian refugees on its border.

Over 4,000 Syrian refugees had been brought to Israel to receive medical treatment.

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