As Save a Child‘s Heart celebrates its 20th anniversary, it is undertaking its biggest project yet – to build an International Pediatric Cardiac Center at the Wolfson Medical Center.
The cornerstone was laid at a moving ceremony at the Wolfson Medical Center attended by government ministers, founders of Save a Child’s Heart, Wolfson Medical Center management, the Mayors of Holon and Bat Yam, Ministry of Health officials, donors, and the Save a Child‘s Heart International Board.
The International Pediatric Cardiac Center will be part of the children’s hospital with state of the art facilities, enabling SACH to treat more children with heart disease from developing countries, and serving Israeli children from Holon, South Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Bat Yam.
The hospital, when completed, will have five floors, including operating and recovery rooms.
Dan Kanner hosted the ceremony, the Kiryat Sharett School Choir ”Hayonit” provided musical accompaniment, conducted by Avi Cohen Trika.
Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation, MK Ayoub Kara emphasized the importance of saving lives regardless of race, religion, or nationality, particularly in light of the current political and security situation in the region, and how this project demonstrates the effort of the State of Israel to connect with its neighbors and build bridges.
Director of the Wolfson Medical Center, Dr. Yitzhak Berlovitz spoke about how the construction of the Children‘s Hospital is coming full circle for him. Half a century ago, as a child, he played soccer at the exact location that the Hospital will be built, giving opportunity to future generations of children to play sports and enjoy their childhoods.
The Israeli and International boards of Save a Child’s Heart, as well as Save a Child’s Heart medical staff were all present. Yoram Cohen, SACH Chair, eloquently expressed the feelings of all present by saying that “there is nothing sweeter than fulfilling dreams, and by building this children‘s hospital, thousands of children’s dreams will come true.”
Chairman of the Friends of the Medical Center, Wolfson, Ben Hur Yerushalmi said that the Children‘s Hospital will be a beacon which not only illuminates countries in the region, but also around the world.
Holon Mayor Moti Sasson spoke about the family of a child from Aleppo, Syria who received life-saving heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center. He was able to communicate with the child when he went to visit him in Aleppo, thanks to his parents, who taught him their native language, Arabic.
The event was attended by Morris Kahn, Ambassadors, as well as representatives of USAID and the EU. The new facility is scheduled to open in three years.
Photos by: Sheila Shalhevet.