In May Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin visited the recently rebuilt Cerebral Catheterisation Unit, pioneered 20 years ago, at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.

President Rivlin was hosted by Hadassah Director-General Prof Zeev Rotstein and Prof Jose Cohen, the unit’s director; Prof Moshe Gomori, head of the Brain Catheterisation Imaging Department; and head nurse Siam Masarwa Shibli. Impressed by Hadassah’s capabilities, the president told his hosts, “A patient who comes to Hadassah following a stroke will receive the most advanced and rapid treatment. I have no doubt that every patient will be in the best of hands, with a team of professionals.”

Hadassah’s unit, the flagship of the brain catheterisation units that followed, is filled with the most advanced catheterisation equipment, made possible by support from USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA).

The Hadassah staff members demonstrated to President Rivlin how the new advanced systems allow Hadassah’s specialists to handle the most complex cases, within a very narrow window of time. They explained how patients arriving by ambulance are taken directly to the Cerebral Catheterisation Unit.

“When I immigrated to Israel from Argentina, I had only one goal in mind,” Prof Cohen told the president, “and that was the establishment of the first cerebral catheterisation unit in Israel. I knew it would only happen at Hadassah.” He added, “I am a well-known Zionist. I have been fulfilling the vision for 20 years, and here we are again re-establishing this unit, to the glory of the State of Israel.”

Prof Rotstein clarified for the president that only Hadassah provides a comprehensive response to stroke patients all over the country, making Jerusalem the capital for brain catheterisation in Israel.

“Just this week,” Prof Cohen relates, “I assisted hospitals in cities under massive rocket fire to have their patients transferred by helicopter to Hadassah for emergency cerebral catheterisations. Patients from all over the country want to come to Hadassah for a consultation and to receive life-saving treatment.”