Israeli Medical Team Saves Life of Durban doctor, despite COVID

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Zibly, Reddy and Hadar

Three years ago, Dr. Thesi Reddy, a pediatrician at Kingsway Hospital in Durban, South Africa, was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his stomach.

Reddy underwent surgery in India, and it was pronounced a success. Last year, however, he was shocked to discover that he had another malignant tumor, this time in his brain. This time, he was told, his chances of survival were slim.

“They told me I had nine months to live,” said Dr. Reddy. “I didn’t believe I stood a chance, especially not since the outbreak of COVID. But then Naomi came into the picture.”

Naomi Hadar is the director of South African Friends of Sheba Medical Center. When she heard about Reddy, she didn’t hesitate for a moment. “I asked Sheba to check Reddy’s diagnosis, and they said they could remove 85% of the tumor. After all the arrangements were taken care of, I flew to Israel with Reddy and his family. In the course of the complicated surgery, the doctors succeeded in removing the tumor completely! It was incredible.”

Following his life-saving experience, Dr. Reddy decided to initiate medical collaboration between his hospital in Durban and Sheba. “The technology and the level of medical care at Sheba could spark a tremendous change in South Africa,” he said.

Reddy’s son Nim cannot adequately express his gratitude to the team at Sheba. “They gave us back our father,” he said.

Dr. Zion Zibly, who specializes in neurosurgery at Sheba said that when asked to help, he didn’t think twice. “Even though Reddy had been told in Durban that he was beyond hope, here in Israel we had the tools to undertake this risky procedure and remove the entire tumor. Reddy is already back in South Africa recuperating.”

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