Gilead—The Israeli Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association
Gilead Har’El was a young student of Architecture who led a very happy and complete life. True, he had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which prevented him to join the army with his classmates when he graduated high school, but he started his academic studies and really enjoyed it. True, he was not allowed to do competitive sports, but he found his compensation in doing art—drawing, photography, and more—and in giving and receiving love and warmth to his friends and family.
One bright day Gilead was on the way back to the Technion after purchasing art
supplies. A friend stopped his motorcycle where Gilead stood on the pavement
and suggested to give him a ride. Gilead smiled, said “cool...”, and
collapsed. A passing paramedic gave him immediate cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, and a mobile intensive care unit which arrived nine minutes
later did its full repertoire—in vain. Gilead, 19 years old, died in the
last day of his first undergraduate year...
Zvi, Gilead’s father, was
much more fortunate. When Gilead was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
at ten, the rest of the family
was screened. Zvi, then 38, didn’t show to have it. Two years later, however,
he started to have syncopes (blackouts), and eventually the link to the
familial disease was realized and he was implanted with a cardiac
which since saved his life many times by reversing fatal heart irregularities
with an electrical shock. Today he is 49 years old, hoping for many more...
Almost thirty months after Gilead’s death, Zvi finally feels he has the power to
say “enough!” No more young people should share Gilead’s fate of Sudden
Cardiac Death. We should fight this horrible disease and conquer. Families
should be screened and those family members at high risk should be implanted
with a defibrillator. To help this come to reality, we are founding here this
association. In the loving memory of Gilead, we shall try to help the HCM
patients in their strive to have a long and good life they are entitled to, and
to help the physicians in their efforts in studying HCM, its symptoms and its
genetics. We shall join our friends in other countries in this holy work, and
with God’s help, we shall conquer!
We are very indebted to Lisa Salberg, the president and founder of the American Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Association. Without her love and support, we couldn’t have come so far.
We would also wish to acknowledge the UK Cardiomyopathy Association who
broke the ground, and may it serve as a
model to many more associations around the globe.
If you prefer to contact us by phone, please call the Israeli Center for Self
Help in Tel Aviv, phone number (03)629-9389. Otherwise, we will be happy to
reply your e-mail.
Copyright © Zvi Har’El
$Date: 2006/09/25 15:28:14 $