HOLÓN, Israel ( Associated Press) — Karina Andreiko, a 5-year-old girl, was not injured in the Ukraine war. To some extent, he was saved from her thanks to her.
Stressed by the long search to find out why her daughter was smaller than other children — and by the war with Russia — Karina’s mother called for help last month at an Israeli field hospital about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away. from the family home, near the Ukrainian-Polish border. One of the local doctors listened to Karina’s heart, detected a murmur and performed an ultrasound. The diagnosis was a congenital defect between the chambers of Karina’s heart that is treatable with a simple procedure available in Israel but not in Ukraine, doctors said.
The Israeli non-profit organization Save a Child’s Heart agreed to transfer Karina to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, near Tel Aviv, for treatment. Passports were obtained, a plan was made, and on Monday, two weeks after Karina’s mother went to the field hospital, doctors in Israel performed a catheterization on Karina that is expected to allow her to lead a normal life.
“I am happy that I came to Israel to have my daughter operated on,” said Karina’s mother, Iryna Andreiko. “On the one hand, I am very worried about her, but I think everything will be fine.”
Fearful of Russia, Israel has tried to take a cautious stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even as the West aligned itself against President Vladimir Putin.
Although Israel has not imposed sanctions on Moscow or provided weapons to kyiv, it has criticized the invasion and has provided humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian population immersed in the conflict, including planeloads of supplies.
Karina’s father is fighting in the war, so her mother decided to go to Sheba Medical Center’s “Bright Star” field hospital, near the family’s home in Hostyntseve. The central purpose of the hospital, which has since been closed, had been to care for civilian victims of Russian attacks.
Karina had not been injured in the conflict. Still, her case has added an unexpected benefit to the field hospital’s achievements, which included treating 6,000 people during the six weeks it was open. Now the aid is being focused on the training of Ukrainian doctors by their Israeli counterparts.
Karina was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, a hole between the upper chambers of the heart that doesn’t close and can lead to future heart failure if left untreated.