Noa Haroush was suffering from a rare condition called Moyamoya disease
UB Neurosurgery Team Physicians Saved Noah’s Life
By Annette Pinder
Prior to the October 7 attack on Israel, a different kind of fear had been unfolding at the Haroush family home in central Israel. The
Haroush’s 18-year-old daughter, Noa, was experiencing increasing weakness on the left side of her body, which was causing her hand and arm to shake. “It was scary,” says Noa. “I thought it might be stress from school or maybe a medication.”
After extensive testing, Noa was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease, a rare condition that causes blockage of arteries to the brain, that can be cured with surgery. However, a failure to have timely surgery placed Noa at high risk for stroke and brain bleeding. Despite excellent care in Israel, surgery for such a rare complex condition is best performed at a high-volume center such as Gates Vascular Institute, where UB neurosurgeons have performed this operation numerous times.
As luck would have it, Elad Levy, MD, MBA was born in Israel, has relatives there, and Dr. Levy’s father and Noa’s grandfather were best friends. Noa’s parents quickly decided to have Dr. Levy perform the surgery, arriving in Buffalo with Noa and her three siblings on October 8. Despite undergoing extensive imaging in Israel, Dr. Levy performed cerebral angiography imaging on Noa to determine the degree to which her arteries were blocked, and the results were terrifying.
“Noa had one of the worst cases of Moyamoya we’ve ever seen,” says Dr. Levy. “It was on both sides of her brain, and she had symptoms throughout her whole left side.” Without wasting time, Dr. Levy teamed up with his longtime surgery partner, Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD to perform the surgery. “The surgery felt endless,” recalls Noa’s mom Sharon. It lasted eight, long hours. “It was hard to just be in the waiting room, but there was a nurse, Debbie, continually texting me with updates, which helped.”
The surgery, which was completely successful, was one of the most complicated surgeries performed by Dr. Levy and his team. The family’s relief was hard to put into words, especially after learning Noa’s condition was so severe that she could have been very close to having a stroke. “I really want to thank Dr. Levy, Dr. Siddiqui, their team, and all the nurses,” says Sharon. “Everyone took such good care of us. They did such a wonderful job.”
Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute has increasingly become an international destination for state-of-the-art stroke care and complex neurosurgeries. “When people need this kind of care, and begin to research who can deliver it, we are at the top of the list,” says Dr. Levy.
Elad Levy, MD, MBA is Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, a SUNY Distinguished Professor, L. Nelson Hopkins Endowed Chair of Neurosurgery, co-director Gates Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery at Kaleida Health, and president of UB Neurosurgery of UBMD. Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD is CEO and CMO of the Jacobs Institute, and vice chair and professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Jacobs School. Learn more at www.UBNS.com or call 716-218-1000.