Monday, December 22, 2008
Intersection Where Death Meets Life
Heftzi Gutman is an EMC senior nurse who for the past eleven years has acted as the Transplant Coordinator between our hospital and the Ministry of Health's National Transplant Center. Heftzi related the following story to me:
On November 26, 2008, 54 year-old Yossi Paster was tragically pronounced brain dead here in EMC. His wife Edna, also an EMC nurse, immediately informed Heftzi of her desire to donate Yossi's organs so that others may live. Thus began intense communications between Heftzi and the National Transplant Center, which culminated several hours later in coordinated operations (in EMC and in central Israel hospitals) that gave renewed life to seven Israelis. One received a liver, two received kidneys, two received heart valves and two received corneas. Among them were both Jews and Arabs; each a human being in desperate need of a medical miracle. Yossi Paster's death gave life to others, people he never knew.
I asked Heftzi what were the most emotionally-charged moments of her long career. Without hesitation, she said, 'The moment when a family agrees to donate their loved one's organs to strangers. That precise instance is the most difficult moment in a person's life '¶ it's the intersection where death meets life.'
Yossi Paster, like hundreds of others, became unknowing heroes in their deaths. Their families gave the gift of renewed life to total strangers and lengthened an unbreakable thread that weaves throughout our society.
The Jewish commitment to life is exemplified by Emek Medical Center's absolute coordinated efforts between medical departments, physicians, nurses, technicians and administrative staff. The gift of life could not be delivered were it not for their combined timely efforts.
At that intersection where death meets life, fortunately for so many, we are there.
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Director of Development & International Public Relations
Israel's Emek Medical Center
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Emek Medical Center