Hatzolah Air, MDA and Shaare Zedek Combine Forces to Evacuate 18 Year Old Israeli Woman With Serious Brain Infection From Ukrainian Hospital

An 18-year-old Israeli woman who had been studying in Ukraine and remained in the country after the outbreak of the war to assist in local relief efforts, recently developed a serious neurological condition requiring advanced care which would be impossible to obtain in a local hospital.

The girl’s plight spread on social media and in recent days a representative of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office reached out to Hatzolah Air to help evacuate her for treatment in an Israeli hospital.

A spokesperson for Hatzolah Air explained that the girl’s increasingly critical condition required very specific planning and equipment, as well as the services of a highly experienced team composed of doctors and MDA personnel to accompany the flight. Last night (Monday), a team directed from Israel by Dr. Todd Zalut, Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Shaare Zedek Medical Center along with Levi Levine, Trauma Coordinator at the hospital, departed on a mission to return the girl to Israel.

The mission included Dr. Zvi Zilberstein from Shaare Zedek’s Emergency Department, and the team travelled with specific equipment loaned from the hospital to respond to her acute medical needs. Early Tuesday morning, the return flight landed with the medical teams, the girl and her mother. She was then transported by MDA to Shaare Zedek where Dr. Stefan Mausbach, Director of the Neurological ICU was waiting to take over her advanced care.

Aaron Adler, CEO of Hatzolah Air Israel explained, “From the moment that Hatzolah Air was contacted, we knew that we needed to act very quickly and with the best possible medical teams. Hatzolah Air’s Chairman Eli Rowe immediately responded to the need and together with our partners in MDA and Shaare Zedek we were able to complete the mission successfully and ensure this young woman is receiving the advanced care she needs here in Israel.”

Dr. Zalut added that “Both in times of war and peace, Shaare Zedek is ready to respond to all types of medical emergencies. Our Emergency Department staff immediately committed themselves to this complex task which required the involvement of multiple arms of the hospital led by our Neurological and Neurosurgical ICU teams. We take considerable pride in the fact that we have the resources to provide the necessary medical response for this young woman and wish her a full recovery.”

Dr. Zilberstein said, “Overnight we left for a complex medical relief mission involving this young woman who had developed a serious neurological illness and who was hospitalized in Ukraine. Through the combined efforts of multiple people and agencies we were able to make this mission happen successfully. I am happy to be able to report that despite the challenges the evacuation flight went well and the patient is now being monitored and treated in the Neurological ICU. We wish her a full recovery and hope to see her return to an active and full lifestyle.”

Photo Credits: Shaare Zedek and Hatzolah Air