Sarit and Avi Naor, who donated a kidney from their son Noam to a 10-year-old Palestinian boy on dialysis for seven years, received a phone call from President Shimon Peres on Sunday.
Noam suffered irreversible lower-brain death after falling from a fourth-story window in his home to the second floor below.
“This is one of the most moving contributions to peace. It exploded all prejudices,” Peres told the parents. “According to Jewish tradition, every person is created in God’s image,and whoever saves a human serves the essence of Judaism… You have made all of us proud.”
“I hope this case will lead only to peace,” Sarit replied.
There was no one else suitable to receive the kidney, as no tissue-compatible child recipient was registered and no older person in Israel could have made use of such a small organ, said Israel Transplant.
“It doesn’t matter who gets the kidneys. The most important thing is that more children will not have to continue getting kidney dialysis,” said the parents.
The transplant was performed at Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva. The recipient, who comes the Bethlehem area, had undergone dialysis at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center since he was three. After the transplant, he was in stable condition.
After Noam’s fall, doctors struggled to save his life, but he suffered so much brain damage that they could only declare his lower-brain death.
The Naor family, who are religiously observant, consulted with rabbis, who supported their decision to donate his kidney (the second one could not be used).
Sarit Naor, who said before the funeral that she greatly appreciated President Peres and his efforts to bring peace with Israel’s neighbors, declared that she knew she was making the right decision by giving her son’s kidney to the Palestinian boy.
Health Minister Yael German, who heard about the donation, said: “The parents are noble people and an inspiration to all of us. In their most difficult moments, they made a decision that was not simple – to save the life of a Palestinian child. Their donation is a source of pride and example of humanity and good heartedness,” German said.
The operation at Schneider was performed by a team headed by Prof. Eitan Mor.
After the surgery, the recipient’s father said he had no words to express his gratitude to the Naor family. After years of waiting for an organ, their son was reborn, he said.
Schneider performs most pediatric organ transplants in the country. Since it was founded, the pediatric hospital has carried out about 400 heart, lung, liver and kidney transplants in babies, children and youths with success rates equal to the best centers abroad.