Mayo Clinic Receives $10 Million Gift from Saudi Patient

By Mayo Clinic, PRNE
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ROCHESTER, Minnesota, August 10, 2011 -

- Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery has been named to honor benefactor’s parents

Mayo Clinic announced today a $10 million gift from Tarek Obaid to support reconstructive transplantation at Mayo Clinic. Mr. Obaid, 35, currently lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The gift, in honor of his parents Essam and Dalal Obaid, will be used to establish the Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery. The center will include an honored scholar position named after his grandfather Ahmad Obaid, an endowed program fund, and an operating fund, also named in honor of the Obaid family.

“We are honored to be able to help Mayo Clinic establish this center,” says Mr. Obaid. “We know it can have a profound impact on patients, and it is our pleasure to support these programs.”

Reconstructive transplantation at Mayo Clinic currently includes hand transplantation. In the future, Mayo Clinic plans to expand to include face transplantation, which will complement Mayo Clinic’s existing facial reconstructive surgery program for complex deformities of the face caused by congenital issues, trauma and illness. Mayo opened the first clinical hand transplant program in the U.S., which gives patients a reconstructive transplantation surgery option without needing to enroll in experimental trials.

Tarek Obaid and Dr. Samir Mardini, M.D., a facial reconstructive surgeon at Mayo Clinic, were childhood friends. Mr. Obaid’s generosity was inspired by his experience as a Mayo patient, his friendship with Dr. Mardini, and his compassion for victims of war and trauma. The gift was made in honor of the Obaid family’s values - particularly hope - which they consider the most powerful emotion, providing the fortitude to persevere and the well from which people draw strength.

“Tarek and the Obaid family are dear to my heart, and knowing them and how much they enjoy helping others in need is a tremendous inspiration,” said Dr. Mardini. “Through their gift, we will advance scientific discoveries and provide clinical care to those who will now have the chance to live normal lives.”  

Mr. Obaid is co-founder and CEO of PetroSaudi, a privately held oil exploration and production company.

About Mayo Clinic
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Emily Hiatt, +1-507-284-5005 (days), +1-507-284-2511 (evenings), newsbureau at

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