Complex Surgery at Rambam Saves Life of 7-Year-old Gazan Boy
April 18, 2021 – A complex, highly sophisticated medical operation was recently performed at Rambam Health Care Campus to save the life of Madchat Tapash, a seven-year-old boy from the Gaza Strip.
Madchat Tapash was born with a defect in his renal system that caused life-threatening kidney failure and an improperly functioning bladder, requiring a multidisciplinary team of specialists to repair the damage. The operation actually consisted of three different surgeries conducted almost simultaneously, in which the boy’s bladder was reconstructed, a kidney donated by his mother was removed from her body and implanted in his body, and finally, Madchat’s new kidney was successfully connected to his reconstructed bladder.
For the past two-and-a-half years, Madchat has been undergoing dialysis treatment. Because of his severe medical condition, he was unable to receive the care he needed through the Gaza healthcare system, and was transferred to Rambam by Yazid Falah, Health Coordinator for patients from the Palestinian Authority. The “Think About Others” Association raised funds to help pay for the child’s surgery.
Rambam assembled a large, highly skilled multi-disciplinary team from multiple hospital departments to perform the operation. Medical specialists from the Pediatric Urology Clinic, under the leadership of Dr. Akram Assadi, and the Pediatric Nephrology Institute, together with surgeons, renal implant specialists, hematologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists and pharmacists worked to create an operational plan to save the boy’s life. Professor Pinhas Livneh, formerly the Director of Pediatric Urology at Rambam, provided expert consultation and guidance.
Madchat’s mother Sumar, who has four other children, offered to donate her kidney to her young son and was found to be a suitable match. “I would have given him my soul, my eyes, and that I should die so that he could live—anything to stop his suffering,” said Sumar. Madchat had already undergone 15 surgeries and dozens of procedures during his short life.
The surgery lasted for approximately 11 hours and part of the time, was performed in two surgical suites simultaneously. The first phase involved reconstruction of the boy’s bladder by the Pediatric Urology team directed by Dr. Assadi. The bladder, which was not functioning well, was reconstructed and enlarged using the boy’s ureters – muscular tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
At the same time, in an adjacent surgical suite, Sumar underwent a minimally invasive but complex procedure to extract one of her kidneys. That surgery was performed by Professor Ahmad Assalia, Deputy Director of General Surgery at Rambam. The mother’s kidney was then implanted in the boy’s body by Dr. Ran Steinberg, Director of the Department of Pediatric Surgery, and his team.
In the final phase, the newly implanted kidney was connected to the reconstructed bladder. While still in the operating room, Madchat’s new kidney began functioning properly and effortlessly. When it was all over, Sumar joyfully exclaimed, “It is wonderful to give a part of your body to heal your child. You feel the closeness – it is as if we were one body.”
Dr. Steinberg stated, ” An operation of this magnitude required the participation and coordination of dozens of people, and multiple hospital departments. Without intensive advance preparation and great motivation to succeed, it would have been extremely difficult to carry out this extraordinary undertaking.”
From the Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/haifa-hospital-saves-life-of-palestinian-boy-from-gaza-665558
From Times of Israel: https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/complex-surgery-at-rambam-hospital-saves-life-of-7-year-old-gaza-boy/
In the photo: Madchat Tapash after his surgery.
Photography courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus.