On Friday, January 13, 2017, an unusual appeal was received in the situation room of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
Prof. Avi Rivkind, head of the general surgery trauma department at Hadassah Medical Center, requested the Foreign Ministry's assistance in saving a patient's life, requiring a drug that was not to be found in Israel.
The director of the Foreign Ministry's Situation Room Herzel Edri appealed to a number of Israeli embassies across Europe in an attempt to locate the drug.
Once the Israeli Ambassador in Cyprus, Yael Ravia-Zadok received the request, she immediately contacted the Cypriot Minister of Health, Dr. George Pamboridis. Despite it having been Friday night, the minister immediately replied, understanding the urgency.
He checked around and got back to the ambassador in under an hour, saying: "We have the medication. The Nicosia General Hospital is waiting for you to come and pick it up."
When the ambassador asked how to transfer payment, the minister replied: "Payment? What payment?" and refused to accept any compensation for the life-saving medication.
The administration officer at the Israeli embassy in Cyprus immediately went to the hospital, picked up the medicine and had it flown to Israel. From the airport, the medication was transferred to the hospital with the help of the patient's family member.
The drug reached its destination in time and saved the patient's life, who was released from the hospital shortly thereafter.
The immediate response and willingness to help save a life with no interest for compensation show Minister Pamboridis's moral dedication, said the Israeli ambassador.
The actions also "embody the depth of the friendship between Israel and Cyprus, the Cypriots and Israelis," she continued.
Ravia went on to say: "We will always remember the Cypriots' commitment to human lives experienced firsthand by Jewish Holocaust survivors who were on their way to Israel and deported by the British to Cyprus. 53,000 survivors were concentrated in detention camps on the island in 1946-1949. Even then, we saw humane gestures of many Cypriots who assisted people in the camps."
The Foreign Ministry and the Israel Export Institute decided to grant a certificate of appreciation to the Minister of Health of Cyprus, who is set to arrive in Israel in the coming days on a work-related visit.
The certificate will state: "Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."