MDA’s Wish Ambulance takes 3-year-old critically ill boy to the zoo

Ofek Cohen, just 3-years old, has been confined to Schneider Children’s Medical Centre in Petach Tikvah for the past four months. He’s awaiting a heart transplant and is connected to an artificial heart pump.

His life-threatening condition makes it impossible to leave the hospital, but he dreamed of visiting his favourite animal, the giraffe. So Ofek’s mother contacted Magen David Adom’s Wish Ambulance Program. Paramedics Yonat Daskal, Netanel Engel and Yanky Rosenfeld worked with the medical team at Schneider’s Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to fulfil Ofek’s wish.

“For me, to see him outside the hospital, was very, very moving,” said Ronit Cohen, Ofek’s mother. “He was so excited and seeing him outside was almost like meeting another child.”

The Wish Ambulance took Ofek and his mother, accompanied by a doctor and nurse from Schneider’s, to the Ramat Gan Safari Park. After the zoo, they surprised Ofek with a visit to the Ramat Gan Fire and Rescue Station. On their way back to the hospital, they gave Ofek a toy giraffe to keep him company in the hospital as he awaits a new heart.

“Through the Wish Ambulance, we get to provide beautiful, peaceful, and sane moments to patients suffering from serious illnesses and their families,” said Yonat Daskal. “It really is an amazing experience like no other.”

The Magen David Adom Wish Ambulance Program began in 2009 and has fulfilled thousands of wishes for sick or hurt children and adults to date.