At Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, Surgeons Aid Palestinian Girl

Hala Dawass, age 7, faced a lifetime of sickness after a horrific accident.  Rejected by hospitals in ten countries, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the United States and Britain, the young Palestinian girl recently returned home  to a bright future after undergoing successful surgery at Cabrini Hospital.   In 2010, Hala was crushed between a car and the wall of a garage.  Her pelvis was shattered and her bladder and bowel were flattened and pushed high into her abdomen.  Hala’s pelvis was successfully repaired through emergency surgery in Gaza, but the bladder and bowel could not be corrected.  Hala’s family learned that Israeli doctors had the expertise to correct the internal organs, but the family was denied entry into Insrael.  Over the course of three years, Palestinian surgeons made several attempts to correct the organs, but lacking expertise and specialized equipment were unsuccessful.    Working through the Palestinian Medical Relief Foundation and the Children First Foundation, Hala’s mother Tahane was nervous and excited when surgeons in Melbourne agreed to take her daughter’s case.   A bulletproof car from Australia’s embassy, picked up Hala and her mother and took them from their home in Gaza to the designated checkpoint.  “When I saw the Australian embassy car on the other side,” Mrs. Dawwas said, “I knew we had made it. My prayers had been answered.”   Perfomed in  December by Drs. Neil McMullin and Chris Kimber, the surgery restored Hala’s bowel and bladder function.  After nearly a year away from home,  Hala and her mother will  fly home to Palestine this week.  Mrs. Dawwas said to Dr Neil, ‘ When I grow old, I will never forget what you have done for us.”  To see a picture of Hala, her nurses and Dr. McMullin, and to read more, select the link.  

Credits:  Brigid O’Connell, Herald Sun (Australia) April 17, 2013

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director 


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