In a historic organ transplant exchange, a kidney donated from an Israeli woman was flown on a charter flight from Tel Aviv to the United Arab Emirates.
Surgeons removed the kidney from Shani Markowitz Manshar, 39, at the Sheba Medical Center before loading it into a chilled ice-filled box ahead of its three and a half hour flight to the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi.
Manshar’s mother will now also receive a transplant from a donor in the UAE, as part a wider organ donation program between the two countries.
She is due to be admitted to Sheba Medical center later this week to receive a healthy organ from a relative of the donor who provided a kidney for the unnamed UAE patient.
Professor Eytan Mor, head of transplant center in Sheba Medical center – Israel’s largest hospital, said on Wednesday that the surgery was a success and would open the door for more life-saving organ donations in both countries.
“Today is the start of a wonderful collaboration with our colleagues from the Emirates and Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“I hope this will open the door for further collaboration in other fields of medicine between our countries.”
The exchange is part of a wider organ donation program between the two countries that will develop over the coming months.
An agreement has been signed between Sheba Medical center, the Department of Health Abu Dhabi and Dubai Health Authority to promote medical tourism between Israel and the UAE.
Under that agreement, Sheba will offer treatment to 300 patients from the UAE’s security forces and a training program for Emirati medics.