JERUSALEM, Israel -- A 10-year-old Palestinian youngster can look forward to a whole new life thanks to a highly skilled Israeli medical team and a Jewish family who believes every life is worth saving.
The donor's family, Avi and Sarit Naor, said it didn't matter who got their son Noam's kidneys because "the most important thing is that more children will not have to continue getting kidney dialysis."
On Sunday, a team of specialists transplanted a kidney from the toddler, who had suffered irreversible brain damage from a two-story fall. A day after the surgery, the young Palestinian recipient was doing very well.
"He's doing fine, recovering well," Dr. Efrat Harlev, deputy to the CEO of Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, told CBN News.
One family's unspeakable tragedy gave new life to another child who has been kept alive since age 3 by dialysis treatments administered at Jerusalem's Sha'are Zedek Medical Center.
Schneider's is the only hospital in Israel doing pediatric transplants. A committee under the Ministry of Health keeps a detailed list of patients in need of any kind of organ transplant.
"In Israel, that means everyone who is an Israeli citizen, Jewish or Arab, is eligible," Dr. Harlev explained.
"In order to receive a donor organ, careful check is made to ensure a good match immunologically," she continued. "Only if there is no match in Israel, just like in this case, we turn to the Palestinian Authority for a suitable recipient."
Dr. Harlev said Israeli doctors often know the Palestinian children who need help.
"Usually we know these children because there's a lot of cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, especially with regard to pediatric patients," she said, something people often don't know about.
"Usually when you hear about Israel, it's about the conflict we're experiencing," Dr. Harlev said. "But what we'd like people to know is there is tremendous collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, especially with regard to the pediatric population."
And, she emphasized, it's not a "one-sided effort."
"We are working together to give better care to these children," Dr. Harlev said. "It is an effort that is above and beyond any conflict between Israelis and Palestinians."
The recipient's father said he didn't have words enough to thank the family who saved his son's life.
"We've been through many years of suffering when my son was on dialysis and his life was in danger," he said. "We are grateful for the donation and hope, God willing, the couple will be blessed enough to have another child."