Twin Brother Twin Hearts

Identical twins Herzl and Balfour Hakak were born in Baghdad, Iraq, around the time of Israel’s founding and have always been inseparable. They moved to Israel and settled in Jerusalem, where they have continued to live together, spending most of their time in each other’s company, maintaining a very close bond.

Recently, Balfour started feeling unwell and suspected a heart issue. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and required treatment at Shaare Zedek’s cardiac ICU. Throughout his hospitalization, his brother Herzl remained by his side. However, a few days later, Herzl himself fell ill and rushed to Shaare Zedek’s Emergency Department due to a heart attack caused by an artery blockage. He underwent catheterization the following day, in the same ward where Balfour was being treated.

Currently, both twins are recovering together in the same ward. To prevent any confusion, the nurses have placed signs above their beds. Reflecting on their shared experiences, the twins remarked, “We call it twin symbiosis. This isn’t the first time we’ve gone through something like this. It seems that when one of us is unwell, the other feels it too. Many times, we go through similar things without even realizing.”

Dr. Louay Taha, a senior doctor in Shaare Zedek’s cardiac ICU, attended to the twins and explained, “We admitted twins to our cardiac ICU; one with heart rhythm issues and the other two days later with a heart attack. There are documented cases in medical literature about twins experiencing similar cardiovascular conditions. Both twins are recovering well and are expected to be discharged soon.”

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