2-year-old Palestinian boy braves heart surgery alone during coronavirus closure in Israel


Palestinian boy braves Israeli surgery alone during coronavirus closure.

HOLON, Israel (NBC NEWS) — Heart surgery is a trial for anyone, and especially for a young child.

It was even harder for Hamza Ali Mohammad, as the two-year-old Palestinian had to undergo the procedure in Israel while his family was kept away by coronavirus closures.

A resident of the Palestinian hub city Ramallah, Mohammad was born with life-threatening congenital heart disease that required he be operated on as a baby.

In February, the two-year-old had a surgery performed under Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-based volunteer organization that seeks to improve child pediatric care in developing countries.

As he was placed in a ventilator, his parents – Khetam and Issam Dar Ali Mohammad – decided to return home to check on his siblings.

But they were unable to travel back to the hospital as Israeli and Palestinian authorities sealed the boundary to prevent a coronavirus spread.

Mohammad was reunited on Thursday with his mother, who whisked him into her arms after he arrived in a van,

Escorted by medical personnel, at a checkpoint on the boundary between Israel and the occupied West Bank.

With tears in her eyes, she hugged him close and kissed his cheeks.


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