Syrian Doctor Sends Note with Wounded Man

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A critically wounded Syrian is being treated at an Israeli hospital in Safed, the closest medical center to the northern border.

U.N. peacekeeping forces transferred the wounded civilian to Israeli troops in the north. He had a note, written in Arabic, pinned to his chest from the doctor who treated him for two days in a Syrian hospital for gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

The Jerusalem Post provided a translation of the note, which included the drugs he'd been given. It was the first time Syrian doctors transferred a wounded patient with medical information.

Israeli doctors at Ziv Medical Center in Safed are treating about 20 wounded Syrians at this time.

"To the honorable doctor, hello," the note began. "The patient, (his name withheld for security reasons), 28 years old, was hit by a bullet that went into his chest and caused a fracture in his ribs and damage by shrapnel to the diaphragm and liver. We opened his chest and abdomen and stopped the hemorrhaging of the liver. It was impossible to sew up the liver so we put a pressure bandage on the stomach and sewed him up. He remained for observation. From Saturday we watched his hemoglobin level and vital signs. The doctors say his abdomen has to be reopened to examine the liver and remove the bandage. Please do what you think needs to be done. Thanks in advance."

Ziv trauma unit head Dr. Amram Hadari called the surgery in Syria "a damage control operation" that "saved his life."

"It was elementary," Dr. Hadari said. "I don't know what means of treatment the Syrian doctors had, but they saved his life. Here, he underwent another operation to treat the wound in the liver, sew up the diaphragm and drain fluid from the chest area. After the surgery, he was sent to our general intensive care unit."

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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