IDF soldier died after surgery but donated organs saved 6 others


19 yr-old Lee Hassin ז”ל underwent surgery at Sheba Medical Center to remove a large but benign brain tumor. Since he did not survive the operation, his parents donated his organs and now 6 other Israelis, including an 18 yr-old girl & a 5 yer-old boy, have a chance at life.

By Meytal Yassour Beit-Or and Israel Hayom Staff


The organs of IDF soldier Lee Hassin, 19, who died of a brain tumor, have saved the lives of six people.

Lee Hassin, 19, of Pardess Hannah – Photo Courtesy of the Hassin family

“I believe that if they asked Lee, he would say ‘yes’ to donating his organs,” said Hassin’s mother, Heli, said.

Hassin, a member of the Artillery Corps from Pardes Hanna, had been suffering from symptoms that included memory loss before being diagnosed with a large, benign brain tumor. Ten days before he died, he underwent brain surgery at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer to remove the growth, but his situation worsened and he was declared brain dead.

The soldier’s parents, who have both signed donor cards, decided to donate Lee’s organs.

The transplant surgeries were performed on the eve of Sukkot at the Rabin, Schneider, and Rambam Medical Centers. Hassin’s heart was implanted in a 55-year-old man and his lungs went to a 54-year-old man. One woman received his liver, and another received one of his kidneys. The second kidney was implanted in an 18-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old boy received a lobe of his liver.

Organ donation is a controversial issue in Israel, as some religious people see it as desecration of the body. According to the Health Ministry’s website, many Israelis believe that Judaism prohibits organ donation, when in fact it does not.

In 2011, the Chief Rabbinate accepted the legal definition of brain death as stipulated in Israel’s Organ Donation Law (2008). In the summer of 2011, the Tzohar Modern Orthodox rabbinic organization began promoting a new initiative meant to produce special organ donor cards with the aim of reducing any concerns on the matter by potential religious organ donors.

In 2013, Health Minister Yael German introduced a bill that would see Israelis automatically added to the national organ registry once they apply for a new driver’s license or renew an existing one, unless they specifically ask to be excluded from it.

According to Israel’s National Transplant Center, only 4 percent of Israelis have signed organ donor cards, compared to about 30 percent in most Western countries.


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