Following a complicated medical operation lasting several hours, Israeli doctors managed against all odds to extract a bullet lodged in the neck of a 5-year-old Syrian boy who had rushed across the border after being shot in the face.
The boy and his father had been sitting in their home when a gunfight broke out nearby, the Telegraph reported. The child attempted to take cover, but was hit by a stray bullet before he could make it to a hiding spot.
“I decided to run to the border and try and save his life, because everyone knows there is a field hospital there,” the 5-year-old’s father said, according to the Telegraph.
At the field hospital, the boy was immediately treated for major blood loss before being transferred to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for further treatment.
The doctors at the hospital discovered that the bullet had probably entered through the child’s left cheek, continuing through his mouth beneath the tongue before crossing to the right side of his neck and settling right by the main blood vessels.
“I was very afraid to tell the doctors to go ahead with the operation, because they told me there was a risk my son could die as the bullet was in such a sensitive place,” the father said. “But I decided to give him a chance and go ahead with the operation.”
After hours of operating on the boy, surgeons were finally able to remove the bullet.
“It may seem strange to you, but I feel like I’m on holiday here,” the child’s father said after the successful procedure.
“I come from a war zone and suddenly I find myself in such a quiet place.”
In June, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed that Israel is operating a field hospital on the Syrian border and transferring severely wounded Syrian nationals to Israeli hospitals for treatment.
The IDF has kept secret the identity and number of Syrian nationals treated in Israel, but the Telegraph placed the number at around 1,200.
Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.