NewsLocalToddler in Athens for heart operation, as parents get vaccinated (updated)

Toddler in Athens for heart operation, as parents get vaccinated (updated)


A three year old Russian boy in Nicosia at the centre of controversy, as Germany and Israel refused urgent heart treatment because his parents were unvaccinated, travelled via air ambulance to an Athens hospital at noon, for surgery, following the vaccination of both parents, who accompanied him.

The toddler, who is reported to be in stable condition, was being treated at the Makarion hospital in Nicosia.

Following the deadlock that would prove detrimental to the boy’s life, the health ministry’s Director General Christina Yiannaki initially reached agreement yesterday with a hospital in Israel that gave the green light for the child’s transfer on Monday.

But that might have been too late, so she turned to Greece too, for an alternative, and the good news came in early last night as the ‘Mitera’ hospital accepted the boy for immediate transfer today.

Commenting on the case today and asked why the operation could not have been performed in Cyprus, Yiannaki said it was a specialised operation that required a team of doctors.

Previous efforts to airlift the three year old to the German medical centre where the boy had undergone another surgery last July, failed, so the health ministry turned elsewhere.

The boy’s parents, who expressed their gratitude to the health ministry, received the Pfizer vaccine first dose on Thursday and it will take three weeks for the 2nd dose that will secure a covid vaccination certificate.

In remarks yesterday, the boy’s father Alexey Matveev, rejected claims that he and his wife refused to vaccinate with the Johnson&Johnson one dose vaccine as had been suggested by Cypriot authorities, saying they had received the Pfizer vaccine following a suggestion by the German medical centre.

‘I wasn’t aware that foreign parents required vaccination in Germany for their children to have an operation, otherwise I would have done it’, the father said.

He expressed the view that it wasn’t logical for anyone to vaccinate if they were healthy and further denied that authorities in Cyprus had suggested the Johnson and Johnson.

Yesterday morning, Christina Yiannaki expressed concern over the child’s health, saying that the parents had been informed in time on the need for vaccination.

The boy will be treated at the children’s surgery unit of the Mitera hospital in Athens, with the leading surgeon being Yiorgos Sarris.

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