US physician and social media sensation Doctor Mike met with children from across the world with heart conditions who are being treated in Israel by the Save a Child’s Heart organization.
Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, known as “Doctor Mike”, is in Israel as a guest of America’s Voices in Israel organization.
On the first day of his in Israel, Doctor Mike visited the Save a Child’s Heart center at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.
Save a Child’s Heart is a non-profit that operates to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries, regardless of the child’s religion or nationality. The Israel-based NGO has successfully treated children from 59 countries, including more than 2,500 from the Palestinian Authority. It was awarded the 2018 United Nations (UN) Population Award. In 2011, Save a Child’s Heart was awarded consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Doctor Mike met the 5,000th patient of Save a Child’s Heart, 15-month old Fatma who was brought to Israel from her native Tanzania (Zanzibar) to be treated for a congenital heart defect. She is accompanied by her mother Balkis, who herself suffered the same health challenges as a child, and was also brought to Israel by Save a Child’s Heart for lifesaving treatment.
Balkis emotionally told Doctor Mike about her experience and about Fatma’s progress and treatment.
“I already owe my life to the doctors here”, she told him, “now that they have saved my baby, I owe them my happiness as well. We are going back to Zanzibar soon, but a piece of our hearts will always stay in Israel.”
Doctor Mike said that “with all the turmoil in the Middle East and all over the world, it’s easy to be heartbroken, it’s a lot harder to mend a heart – and that’s what these guys are doing here every day. It’s inspiring how they overcome politics and geography to save children’s lives. The doctors, and all the staff here, are heroes, they really are.”
Varshavski is a media personality, writer, and philanthropist. With 250 million views online, he works to educate on the importance of health literacy and battles misinformation.
Doctor Mike is slated to meet leaders in Israel’s medical technology industries, visit research projects, as well as tour some of the historic sites around the country and explore Israeli culture.
America’s Voices in Israel is a non-profit organization with a mission to foster a greater understanding of Israel in the US by reaching out to high-profile personalities and opinion leaders.