Recently, the family of a young Israeli girl suffered a traumatic loss, when Yuval Nizri, age 11, died in a car crash in Rishon Letzion.
“Words cannot describe the bravery and uniqueness of Yuval,” her parents said after her death. “When she was born, we stared at her every day in wonder, at the perfect girl who did everything well. She had so many plans for the future, and in a moment they were destroyed.”
After her death, her parents decided to donate young Yuval’s organs hoping that others could have a second chance at life.
Among the recipients, four children received transplants including a 10-year-old heart and lung recipient, a 4-year-old who received a new liver and a 5 and 16-year-old, who each received one of Yuval’s kidneys.
The donation also lead to a first in Israeli medicine. On Thursday, surgeons at Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva performed the first-ever successful small intestine transplant.
The 39-year old transplant recipient was in serious condition at the time the surgery occurred and unable to eat. After several hospitalizations, the woman’s own small intestine had been removed due to disease, leaving her in poor health and reliant on total parental nutrition to sustain her life.
Even then, the decision to attempt a transplant, which was approved for use only last year by the National Transplant Center, was weighed carefully by the medical team, who ultimately decided to attempt the risky surgery, of which only 80 are performed worldwide each year.
The team of caregivers are now watching to see if the newly-implanted intestine will have the ability to digest solid food, allowing the Israeli woman the chance to once again eat solid foods and lead a more normal life.
Yuval’s parents, Amnon and Livnat Nizri, said it is what their brave little girl would have wanted. “If Yuval could not see her own plans through, she could help others do so,” they said in an emotional statement about their decision to donate their daughter’s organs.