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International Cardiac Surgery Team Arrives in Gaza

This week, a large team of doctors and nurses from the USA, France and Palestine crossed into the Gaza Strip to start a week of life-saving open-heart surgery on children with congenital heart disease. The team from Loma Linda Hospital in California is led by pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Nahidh Hasaniya and includes intensivist Dr. Shamel A. Abd-Allah, pediatric cardiologist Dr. Assad Alhroob, perfusionist Kholoud Nassar and ICU nurse specialist Dr. Asma Taha. Also joining from Loma Linda are OR nurse Karen Cotterill, ICU nurses Georgeta Marin, Julie Martchenk, Diana Scolaro-­Cook​, Kelly Deckard and Megan A. Hogle. Joining the team from Palestine is pediatric anesthesiologist Dr. Hasan Ismael, and volunteer surgeon from Bordeaux University Heart Hospital in France, Dr. Alexandre Metras, who has volunteered in the past with the PCRF as well. This mission is part of the "Healing Hearts" Program of the PCRF, in which we are providing life-saving open-heart surgery for children born with congenital heart disease.