By RITA DELFINER
August 6, 2007 -- Bronx surgeon Samuel Weinstein really gives from the heart - he donated his own blood to an 8-year-old boy during cardiac surgery in El Salvador, then went right back into the operating room to finish the lifesaving procedure.
"I joked with his parents that he might wake up and become an avid Mets fan," said Weinstein, director of Pediatric Heart Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center.
The donor drama took place last year in San Salvador, where the doctor had gone on one of his frequent mercy missions and was operating on little Francisco Hernandez.
The hospital ran out of Francisco's rare blood type, B-negative. Weinstein, who has the same type, "gave a unit of blood, and then I drank a bottle of water, had a snack and scrubbed back into the surgery" to relieve the obstruction to half the boy's heart.
The 44-year-old father of four was nominated for a Liberty Ambassador Medal by Montefiore spokesman Michael Quane.
He said Weinstein deserves it for his trips every year to El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic with Heart Care International to operate on poor children - and for donating his skill at Montefiore to perform surgery on ailing kids from abroad.