David Schwartz was a success story. He was father of two sons and grandfather of two granddaughters. His days were full. He was a director in Bank Leumi, CEO of an investment firm, lecturer in a university and Chairman of the Board of a public company.
But success does not preclude the unthinkable from happening.
He had an infection in his elbow that developed complications, and as a result, he underwent tests which showed that his immune system was defective.
And all his financial success could not buy the ‘pill to make it go away’. His condition deteriorated so much that at one of the consultations that took place, a senior specialist in the field told him point blank: I don’t know if you have even a half a year to live. You must have a transplant.”
David was stunned. He couldn’t wrap his head around the possibility that it might all be over.
“How do I get the transplant? What does it cost? I’ll pay anything.”
“It’s not a matter of finances. It’s a matter of genetics. You see, to be successful, a patient’s DNA must match that of the donor. If we can find a matching donor, you should be ok. You’re Jewish. DNA is based on ethnicity. We’ll contact Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish registry in the world. Hopefully, they’ll have a match.
Captain Y., an Air Force pilot, was that match. He had registered with Ezer Mizion upon his induction into the IDF, never thinking he would actually be called. Now he stood there in tears upon meeting the man whose life he had saved. “I feel like I have accomplished worlds. There is no feeling as gratifying as this.”
On a high with joy, David jokes, “Now we have a pilot in the family. I always said the Air Force is the best!”
Dr. Bracha Zisser, director of the International Ezer Mizion Registry, explained: “Y. is one of 500 soldiers who have already saved lives as a result of our collaboration with the IDF. I am proud of our partnership with the army, which has put saving patients’ lives in a prominent place on their agenda.”