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Ailing 4-Year-Old Liver Patient Described as Stable

April 23, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ A critically ill Israeli girl whose plight so moved fellow passengers on a flight to London that they spontaneously collected $73,000 for her treatment was reported ″stable but very poorly″ in a hospital Thursday.

Four-year-old Maron Kadosh was undergoing examinations and tests to determine the cause of her liver malfunction and the best possible course of treatment, said a statement issued by King’s College Hospital in London.

Four hundred fifty passengers aboard Wednesday’s Flight LY315 passed the hat for the little girl after hearing she was flying to London for a possible liver transplant, an employee of the Israeli airline El Al said.

″It is unbelievable. I cannot find words to thank the people for what they have done. It is a wonderful thing,″ said Maron’s mother, Tova, 29, after the collection.

She said the money would go toward medical expenses. Liver transplant surgery is not available in Israel.

Dr. Akiva Fradkin, a pediatrician traveling with Maron, said she has a ″very serious liver condition, and we believe the transplant is the last hope.″

The cost of the medical treatment was not disclosed. Mary Curry, deputy administrator at King’s College Hospital, said an Israeli charity, the Whole World Organization, has agreed to cover some expenses.

Alan Gavurin, assistant administrator at King’s College Hospital, said the cause of the girl’s illness is not yet known and hospital officials have made no decision yet on whether a liver transplant is appropriate.

Foreigners must pay for medical treatment under Britain’s National Health Service unless they live in Britain or become sick while visiting.

The El Al employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said children gave their pocket money, while ″one or two very influential people on board, certain millionaires on board, gave heavily in a spontaneous movement of charity.″

He refused to disclose the identities of the millionaires or say how much they gave.

The flight was fully booked by Jews returning from the Passover holiday and Christians on their way home after celebrating Easter in Israel.

The collection included cash in various currencies, checks and pledges.

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