An Israeli woman who had three relatives murdered by Palestinian terrorists has donated her kidney to an ill boy from Gaza.
Married mum of three Idit Harel Segal decided to donate one of her kidneys “to do a good deed”. She said she was inspired by her Holocaust-survivor grandfather, who taught her “to live a meaningful life”.
Segal, who lives in the northern Israeli village of Eshhar, said she faced stiff opposition from her “staunchly rightist” family, with her own father even telling her husband, Yuval, that he should file for divorce.
Segal revealed that the only relatives who supported her resolution were her three children, aged 23, 15 and 10.
When Segal first made her decision, she was unaware the recipient would be a three-year-old Gazan boy.
Israel was last in active conflict with the Gaza Strip from 6th to 21st May, when a ceasefire was declared.
The boy had a congenital disease of the kidney and had required dialysis his whole life. None of his relatives were found to be suitable donors for him.
In a touching act of reciprocity, the boy’s 31-year-old father, a taxi driver, agreed to donate one of his kidneys to an Israeli woman so his son would be next in line for treatment.
He made the decision despite his family home having been destroyed, apparently in an Israeli airstrike, during the May hostilities.
After learning of her kidney’s recipient, Segal was still determined to go through with the procedure, even though her paternal grandparents had been killed by Palestinian terrorists in an attack in Jerusalem in 1948.
Her dad’s adoptive uncle lost his life in a subsequent terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2002, during the Second Intifada (Palestinian uprising).
Segal and the boy went through with the procedure at the Rabin Medical Centre in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva.
Segal, who has since made peace with her family, told the Times of Israel: “From my perspective, my donation was personal and not political. And the news of who was receiving the kidney did not make me regret it or reconsider it even for a minute.
“I felt that this is what was meant to happen, and not a day goes by that I’m not happy about saving the life of that sweet child.”