Hello I am Merlyn Joseph, a doctor pursuing my masters in Community Medicine from St. John’s Medical Hospital, Bangalore, India. I had been for a month to the Ben Gurion University in Israel for a short course in global health. There as part of our practicum I along with another Indian student, Kanchi, was posted to Save a Child’s Heart, Holon. I must admit that though my stay at SACH was albeit a short one, the memories I take away from it will last me a lifetime. The very concept of SACH struck me as something very unique. Bringing children suffering from heart disease along with their caretaker, all the way from Africa to Israel to provide them with the best of the medical and surgical facilities is very commendable. Hats off to the SACH team!! During my days there I developed a special bond with few of these children – Mudrik, Mohammed who taught me to smile and play despite adversity.
SACH means ‘truth’ in Hindi and this is so apt for the organisation. I found a real genuineness and truth in their approach towards the care of these children. Be it providing them with ample space to play at the SACH house or cooking their local cuisine every day or meeting new volunteers who are as dedicated as the staff there. Every day is a fun day for these children! It was especially heart-warming to see children getting better after surgery and heading back to their homeland in Africa after months of stay at SACH. They truly make a big difference in the lives of these children. My fond memories at SACH would be the African meal that I got to taste prepared by the mothers, games I played with the children in the mornings and also the one day I got my hair braided by Mohammed’s sister. I visited the Wolfson Medical Centre on my last day and got to meet Mudrik there who was up for surgery the next day. I met his glance and sensed a certain feeling of helplessness and fear initially which was instantly replaced by relief and hope once he saw Brianna. This hope, this confidence to go ahead and live their lives to the fullest is what SACH lets them to do. I am greatly humbled by my experience at SACH and I am very glad I got an opportunity to do something there however small. I thank the SACH team especially Brianna and Jessica for giving me this opportunity to come, meet and experience SACH. Thank you!