Save a Child’s Heart was founded in 1995 at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, and has since completed the mission that is expressed in its name—5,000 times over and across 62 countries. The United Nations recognized the Israeli nonprofit’s endeavor to both treat children with cardiac irregularities and train medical professionals across the globe. The prestigious 2018 UN Population Award is bestowed upon recipients that have demonstrated excellence in improving health and other concerns in the general population, and is the first of its kind to be granted to an Israeli organization. During the year, the organization conducted a life-saving heart surgery on Noorina, a five-year-old child from Afghanistan, with which Israel has no formal relations. She was treated at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon after being brought to Israel via India in a joint effort with Israel’s Foreign Ministry and sponsored by an Afghani Jew living in the United States.
The organization also treated seven Senegalese children between the ages of 18 months and 18 years who suffer from various forms of lethal heart failures. Each of the children spent up to three months in Israel recovering from their operations. Other children who were treated by the benevolence of the organization include five-year-old Hannah from Myanmar, who was the first patient from Myanmar to be treated by the organization, and Abigail Gaunavou, three, a Fijian girl who was born with a defect in the wall that separates the two top chambers of the heart. Abigail had successful open heart surgery in Israel and is now like any other child born with a normal heart. All costs and living expenses for the child and their caregivers are covered by SACH’s incredible donors.