News and Events

Five-year-old Hospitalized at Rambam in Critical Condition with Flu Complications Makes Full Recovery

Publication Date: 2/13/2020 10:00 AM

Young Karni Lidsky spent nearly a month hospitalized at Rambam Health Care Campus, hovering between life and death due to serious flu complications that resulted in an injury to her heart.

The Lidsky family on the Rambam conference stage with the doctors who saved her life. Photography: Pioter Fliter, Rambam HCCThe Lidsky family on the Rambam conference stage with the doctors who saved her life. Photography: Pioter Fliter, Rambam HCC

Karni Lidsky, a five-and-a-half-year-old girl from the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Tivon, was recently released from Rambam Health Care Campus’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, after being hospitalized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for nearly a month in critical condition. Karni—who made a complete recovery, had actually been pronounced dead at one point due to flu complications that affected her heart; she underwent CPR and was connected to an ECMO device, which can replace heart and lung activity for an extended period of time.

During Rambam’s recent 12th Annual Heart Surgery Conference, Karni and her parents, Uri and Ruth, took to the stage to thank the doctors who saved her life. “We really appreciate the work done at Rambam, especially in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where we spent the most time, and which was also the most difficult part of Karni’s care,” said Uri, the girl's father. “The dedicated and caring staff, the personal attention, and support we received from the staff throughout the hospitalization and afterwards were incredibly meaningful and significant during this time. The feelings we experienced weren’t simple, and we had many concerns when we were initially told that the chances of recovery were low, but the situation changed and improved very gradually, and here we are today.”

As mentioned, Karni was connected to the ECMO during CPR, a relatively rare procedure during ECMO therapy and with low chances of survival. “In Karni's case, this was the last resort,” explains Dr. Tzvi Adler, “a senior cardiac surgeon in the Department of Cardiac Surgery who heads the Rambam ECMO team. “She actually died while connected to the device and her heart suffered an injury, but over time she began to recover. We are happy and excited to see her leaving the hospital without injury.” Adds Dr. Josef Benari, Director of Pediatric Intensive Care, “the odds were not in Karni's favor, but we are glad she managed to surprise us all.”