An Israeli group known for treating children with heart defects is helping a Ukrainian girl live without heart disease.
Five-year-old Karina Andreiko came to Israel with her mother Iryina and just received life-saving cardiac treatment here.
“Karina was born with a defect inside the heart between the two atria, and this defect causes a lot of blood to drift from the left side of the heart to the right and enlarges the right side of the heart,” Dr Sagi said. Assa, head of pediatric invasive cardiology at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel.
“If we leave this situation as it is, when she turns 20 [or] A 30-year-old woman, she is going to have arrhythmia and a lot of heart problems. So to prevent it, we need to close this defect,” Assa said.
Iryina sought help for her daughter at the Israel Field Hospital, just five kilometers from their home in Ukraine, near the Polish border. There, doctors diagnosed Karina with a birth defect, treatable with a procedure available in Israel but not in Ukraine.
That’s when “Save a Child’s Heart” stepped in to help.
“We immediately said we would be happy to help and a very quick operation began to start the logistics of bringing the girl from a war zone to Israel and issuing passports, entry permits, vaccinations, exams,” said Tamar Shapira, Director of International and Public Relations at Save a Child’s Heart.
Based at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, Save a Child’s Heart has saved the lives of over 5,000 children from 59 countries since its inception over 25 years ago.
“For us at Save a Child’s Heart, it doesn’t matter where the child is from. It could be a Ukrainian child. It could be a child from Gaza. It could be a child from Iraq, Syria, Africa. We are here to help them and save their lives,” Shapira said.
According to Shapira, Karina has a twin in Ukraine and the family lives in an area heavily damaged by war.
“The mother does not work. The girls will not go to kindergarten. The father was recruited to fight with the Ukrainian forces and their condition is very bad,” she said.
Dr. Alona Raucher Sternfeld, head of pediatric cardiology at Wolfson Medical Center, “Save a Child’s Heart,” said Israelis can relate to Karina’s situation.
“We’re a country that’s been through a lot of wars, and we’re also raising our kids in a war zone, basically,” Sternfeld said.
“So while we can understand her anxiety and her stress because we know how she feels – we fired missiles at my house and my children like she did at her. So we understand her. , and my grandparents were refugees from Europe, so we can understand. But again, I think we’re lucky and we felt we had to help him as much as we could,” added Sternfield.
Karina’s mother said she had a lot of emotions.
“I am happy that I came to Israel to have my child operated here. On the one hand, I’m very worried about her, but I think everything will be fine,” she said.
Doctors say Karina’s prognosis is good and she should have a completely normal life.