A 16-year old Iranian boy suffering from a cancerous growth in his brain was transported to Israel on Friday in a move coordinated in part by the Shin Bet, landing in Ben Gurion International Airport along with his parents. He was immediately transferred to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer to begin treatment.
The youth has developed a highly aggressive growth termed GBM, and was treated in both Tehran and Turkey, to no avail. He arrived on a flight from Turkey after his doctors there recommended Israel as a last resort.
Dr. Amos Toren, head of Sheba's Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department, said his initial diagnosis was that the boy's year- old growth was "The most aggressive tumor that exists among brain tumors."
"He is conscious and he can smile but it is hard," he said. "We will give him the most modern treatment possible and maybe we will be able to help him."
Sheba Medical Center is reputedly one of the most advanced hospitals in the Middle East, within this particular field of medical technology. This reputation is what eventually brought the boy to Israel.
Sheba CEO Zeev Rotstein was therefore optimistic. "We have the most advanced resources to give this boy a chance," he said. "It's still early to be pessimistic."
He added that Sheba had acquired a certain history in treating children from various foreign countries. "We hope that with the love and affection we give these kids we are paving the way for at least some understanding between people," he said. "We can't change the politics. We are not politicians. We do this because we feel it is our job.
"As far as we are concerned, we are not involved in politics. He is from a country that doesn't really like our existence here, but I think part of our job is to prove to countries like Iran that we are here to help the regular people."