The administrators of the organization are “veteran” heart transplant recipients who experienced the lack of mental health support and aid in coping with the medical and institutional challenges. Intending to help and offer hope to patients, and improve their quality of life, they founded the organization and run it voluntarily.
The survival of heart patients is a challenging journey through a maze replete with obstacles and difficult decision points. The organization exists to give them support and improve their quality of life in any way possible,
Eli Shabtai is a graduate of the Ben Shemen Youth Village. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Nachal Brigade and served in a kibbutz nucleus at Kibbutz Shoval in the Negev. Upon completing his military service, he worked as a farming instructor at the Ben Shemen Youth Village. In 1985 he joined an Israeli Police reconnaissance unit. In the course of his duty he sustained a life-threatening leg wound and was transferred to investigations. From 1994-2012 he worked as an independent private investigator.
In 2007, in a random medical test, Eli was discovered to be suffering from a severe heart disease. It turned out that his heart was working at 20% flow rate. In 2012, after years of waiting for a heart transplant, Eli was offered an artificial heart transplant. Artificial hearts were a revolutionary and much-needed innovation at the time, due to the long waiting times for human heart donation. Eli was one of the first 10 people in Israel to receive an artificial heart transplant.
In 2014 Eli received the donated heart of Nadav Kreiman, may his memory be a blessing, who was killed in an accident. Nadav’s family donated the heart and other of Nadav’s organs, saving the lives of seven Israelis.
In 2017, Eli had the idea of founding Ometz Lev, out of the desire to help heart patients and their families in facing the challenges he knew so closely. Naturally, he decided to name the organization after Nadav Kreiman, who saved his life in passing.
Born in 1981, married to Lior and mother to Uri and Noya. Senior board member and co-founder of the organization. Vered has been a heart transplant recipient for several years, after suffering from a congenital heart disease and severe cardiac insufficiency. In addition, she has suffered from fibromyalgia since her early youth. She came to found and manage the organization through her own experience of dealing with the hardships of the disease and with the authorities. Today she is ready to devote most of her time to leading the organization and offering personal assistance to heart patients and their families.
She is an arts and crafts instructor by training and practices several handcrafts regularly. Formerly, she gave private English lessons and taught strategy games as a way to develop new learning methods and improve personal school achievements in both classroom and individual settings. She is a social and community activist involved in many projects, and a great believer in the importance of mutual responsibility and community support.
Among her duties at the organization: Head of the women’s cardiac health field, individual accompaniment of heart patients and transplant candidates, with personal attention to the amalgam of patients’ lives, based on her rich life experience. She also manages the organization’s facebook page, whatsapp group, and official website.
Heart patients don’t look ill, and there is very scant public understanding of the functional and physical decline from which they suffer. They look to be in perfect health – with only the heart inside them holding them back from full self-fulfillment.