Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Official Launch Save a Child's Heart International Photo Exhibition: From Art to Heart

14 October 2009

The Save a Child’s Heart Photography Exhibition, From Art to Heart, was officially opened by Ruth Zakh, Deputy Head of Mission, Israeli Embassy in Ireland, in the historic Albert Theatre on the 14th of October.  Over 50 medical students, doctors, and members of the local community attended the official opening.

The photo exhibition was brought to Ireland by a recent graduate of RCSI and Dublin Rotarian, Dr. Paul Dhillon, who visited the charity in Israel during an overseas elective during medical school. The exhibition is a series of 42 photos taken at various stages of a child’s journey through the different stages of life saving cardiac surgery. The photographs were taken by eight  photographers including Natalie Behring, Sheila Shalhevet, Debra Silver, Eli Gross, Jonah Mink, Davod Silverman, Gili Yaari and Nati Shohot. A short film was also shown, Betty’s Story, which tells the story of one child’s voyage through the program.

Dr. Dhillon said “It truly is a unique medical organization that not only brings hope and happiness to children and their families but also to the region in general. It was unique to see Jewish, Christian, and Heart Muslim surgeons and staff working together to save the lives of children irrespective of their religion. It truly illustrates that a child is a child above all else.”

Pictured from l-r are Dr. Paul Dhillon, Grainne Baignall – President, Rotary Club of Dublin Central, Mr. Walter Felman – Chairman, Save a Child’s Heart UK and Ireland, Ruth Zakh – Deputy Head of Mission, Israeli Embassy in Ireland, Farasat Kazmi – President, RCSI Student’s Union.

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centres of competence in these countries. SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, colour, gender or financial situation. 

The SACH mission is achieved through providing life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel; providing a full outreach training program for the medical personnel from these countries in Israel; leading surgical and teaching missions to partner countries in the developing world; and holding pre-operative and follow-up cardiology clinics in Israel and abroad.

The Rotary Club of Dublin Central, who sponsored the exhibition in part, is a local part of the world’s first service club organization. Rotary International has more that 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary Club members volunteer to work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self. The Rotary Club President, Grainne Baignall, was one of the special guest speakers at the event along with numerous other club members who attended for the occasion.

Mr. Walter Felman, Chair of Save a Child’s Heart in the UK and Ireland, also attended and gave a brief talk to the audience about his experiences fundraising and seeing the organization in action.

The current President of the RCSI Students’ Union also addressed the audience and provided a large degree of support in bringing the exhibition to Ireland. The exhibition is now moving to the European Union Parliament in Brussels, Belgium