Hadassah Hospital Never Gives Up


Baby Vassilios, a newborn from Cyprus, was born with a serious heart defect that left doctors believing he would not survive.

When Gabriella Taufeno’s was pregnant, during a routine ultrasound, the doctors discovered that her unborn baby had a heart defect called “transposition of the great arteries with intact ventricular septum.” This meant that the two main arteries to baby Vassilios’ heart were reversed, and as a result, were causing the blood flow to circulate differently than a healthy person’s heart. This is a severe condition, with very low chances of survival.

When Vassilios was born in Cyprus, the physicians attempted to insert a shunt into the delicate baby’s heart. Unfortunately, the procedure was not successful, and both the doctors and parents were beginning to lose hope. This is when the medical team at Hadassah Hospital was brought onto the case.

In the words of Dr. Ira Erlichman, pediatric intensive care physician, “I called Prof. Eldad Erez, the pediatric cardiac surgeon, he said the chances of success were very low, but our Prof. Erez is daring and brilliant and he agreed to take baby Vassilios.”

Together, Dr. Erlichman and Dr. Yulius Golander, the senior pediatric cardiologist at Hadassah, flew to Cyprus to retrieve Vassilios. This was a dangerous journey, the doctors explained, as the infant, being in such a dire medical situation, needed to survive the flight and drive to Hadassah Hospital.

However, baby Vassilios is a fighter, and upon arrival to Hadassah, he was rushed into the operating room. The surgery was a success, and after only 10 days following the invasive procedure, Vassilios’s parents were able to return home to Cyprus with their healthy little boy.

Vassilios’s Dad expressed his gratitude to Hadassah Hospital and Israel saying, “Thank you very much Israel and thank you Hadassah.”


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