Dr. Abdulaziz al-Khalidi, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon, has been awarded the Polish Medal of Honour after performing one of the rarest of rare surgeries on a polish child.
Speaking to Al Arabiya English, Dr.Khalidi said that he and Dr. Omar al-Tamimi established a program for pulmonary arterial surgery at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh. This made Saudi Arabia the only country after America to be capable of handling such complicated cardiac cases.
The Saudi doctor came to know about the Polish child suffering severe pulmonary stenosis after the University of Warsaw’s pediatric cardiology department contacted him in 2015.
The child was then 11 months old and had been intensive care since his birth as 16 of his arteries had to be repaired.
Dr. Khalidi said that the Polish prime minister also wrote a letter to the Saudi government upon which the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directed the child to be brought to Riyadh for treatment.
جراح القلب السعودي الدكتور عبدالعزيز الخالدي يحصل على وسام شرف من جمهورية بولندا لإنقاذه حياة طفل بولندي يعاني من عيوب خلقية نادرة في القلب لم يستطع كبار الجراحين في أوروبا إجراءها ???????????? pic.twitter.com/92TN00TJVD
— أول سعوديـ/ـة First????Saudi (@First1Saudi) October 2, 2018
After long operations and rehabilitation taking almost three months, the child was successfully treated.
The Polish government arranged a ceremony for Dr. Khalidi in the Polish Embassy in Riyadh where he was bestowed with the Medal of Honour.