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Israeli doctors implant 102-year-old with pacemaker

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | April 12, 2023
Cardiology Operating Room
Israeli doctors have implanted a 102-year-old woman with a pacemaker.
A 102-year-old Israeli woman is thought to have become the oldest patient to ever be implanted with a cardiac pacemaker.

Rachel Kafri, of the northern moshav (town) Nahalal, underwent the procedure at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, after telling her physician that she felt dizzy and unwell. She received her first inspection on April 5, according to Jewish news outlet ynetnews.com.

"They are very happy with me, they did a good job," she said.
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Professor Shaul Atar, director of the hospital’s cardiology department, has known Kafri for 15 years, and says that while implanting a pacemaker in such an elderly person is rare and complex, it was deemed safe enough in Kafri’s case.

“Before any surgical procedure or invasive operation at this age, or at any age, one should think carefully and calculate the risks. Rachel, of course, wondered if it was suitable for her to undergo the procedure. I explained that implanting a pacemaker could extend her life and improve its quality, and that the risks were not high. I am happy that it was successful and that she feels well,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

Born in Tel Aviv, Kafri’s birth certificate dates back to the time of the British Mandate of Palestine, of which Israel was a part of at the time, and is written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

Kafri has been married twice, having lost her first husband in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, and has five children, 14 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

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