Two-week-old Johnny Yusuf is one of three triplets born to a Syrian refugee family in Cyprus. He was born weighing barely 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lbs.) and was later found to have a congestive heart defect that required an urgent procedure that was not available in Cyprus.
Yusuf needed specialized care to survive, thus, a coordinated flight to Israel was made.
According to an Israeli source quoted by Ynet, “Johnny’s situation is exceptional because he’s both tiny and needed surgery promptly.”
He was spared by a logistically and diplomatically challenging medical procedure in Israel, it was announced on Tuesday.
Professor Einat Birk, head of the Institute of Cardiology at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, was contacted by the Cypriot Health Ministry as Johnny’s condition deteriorated, and she suggested that he be urgently evacuated to Israel for treatment.
Because the infant was a Syrian citizen, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and its consulate in Cyprus intervened to get the required visas for his journey to Israel.