In the last week I have explored more parts of Israel than I have even attempted to explore in the cities that I have grown up in. You only need to know where the 24 hour hot dog stand is and you’re set. As I have spread the word that I am in Israel, I have received mixed reactions from my friends, family, and this random guy that won’t stop sitting so close to me.
I didn’t have too many expectations when I first arrived. So far the country has had a lasting impression on me. There are so many things about Israel that a lot of people have never even heard of. Recently, we visited a hospital where a doctor was working well over is allotted hours, not only to give free heart surgeries to kids around the world, but to provide a free clinic to Palestinians on Tuesdays (2 for 1 sushi day in Medellin). Awkward moment.
When you see a baby breathing heavy because they need heart surgery it hits you hard
I couldn’t help but go up to the kids and be “that annoying guy” that wouldn’t go away. Luckily, a young girl from Angola gave me the “no you didn’t” face. It was exciting until she turned her head away and ignored me like vegetables at a steak dinner. There was a wide variety of ages but an especially high number of very young kids. When I saw the babies that were being prepared for heart surgery it just made me think of all the important things in the world, some weren’t even a year old.
When there is all this conflict why have I never heard about this program?
Most people are worried about buying the new Iphone 5 and there are kids lying in front of me that need a $10,000 heart surgery. Your still going to buy it aren’t you? The $10,000 heart surgery.
I had enough confidence to approach another one of the young kids. Luckily, the baby that I approached was too young to give me a face.
They are never young enough to change the odor in the room apparently, pampers anyone?
I can’t really describe the way I felt but the baby looked me dead in the face and was grabbing on to my finger like it was for dear life.
I didn’t let the paparazzi, otherwise known as the other bloggers on my press trip, try and stifle my moment with flash pictures. Really guys? It’s hard to describe how it felt to see such a young kid need such a significant surgery that the Israeli government and other donors subsidize. They give the surgeries for free.
I could probably write another 1,000 words about the how hard it hit all of us once we saw all of the kids at the hospital. One of the members of the group asked if they allow people from the conflict areas to be treated at the center. I’m summarizing the doctors statement by saying that there is no war when you someone needs heart surgery. The name of the program is called Save A Child’s Heart and the center is located just outside the city of Tel Aviv. If you would like to donate you can click here.