Baby Feras

Baby Feras

A Palestinian child in desperate need of heart surgery is trapped behind the Israeli blockade in Gaza. (Al Jazeera)

Baby Feras Mazloom was born with two holes in his heart — a condition routinely repaired in hospitals with the necessary surgeons and equipment. That hospital was only an hour’s drive away from his parent’s home in Gaza, but might as well have been across an ocean. Because of the Israeli blockade in Gaza, the Palestinian family’s repeated requests to bring Feras to Israel for treatment were turned down — only an “emergency” qualified. Unfortunately, the child’s condition deteriorated so rapidly, that his paperwork arrived too late to save him.

This Al Jazeera video follows the Mazloom family through the ordeal, from the clinic in Gaza where the child is seen struggling to survive, through his father’s frustrating attempts to navigate the regulatory system, to Feras’ passing — just hours before permission to transfer him was finally obtained. The last scene, when his mother returns to the hospital to take him to Israel and finds her child dead, is heartbreaking.

This story was nominated for a 2010 Concentra Award for outstanding videojournalism.

CHANNEL: Al Jazeera

Length: 4:10

Video by Casey Kauffman