"Once upon a time..." This is how many stories started that I read and listened to when I was a young girl. I was eager to see good overcoming evil, hearing at the end: "And they lived happily ever after."
During the past five months of serving at Shevet, I have hoped and prayed for many children who came to Israel for heart surgery. My biggest wish has been that they would return home to their families completely healed and would live
Ayman and his mother visited the
Psalm 91:2 "This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him."
This morning as we were preparing to take Essa to his echo appointment, we got a surprising phone call from
It was obvious upon entering Ayman
By all looks and appearances, Ayman seemed to be doing better when we visited him and his mother at the Sheba Medical Center this past Friday. He was able to grasp his mother
Ruth and I arrived at Sheba in the early afternoon so we could sit with Ayman's mother while he underwent a diagnostic catheterization to check the pressures in his heart and pulmonary artery. We were all surprised last night to receive the call about today's procedure, and looking forward to finding out the results. Thankfully Ayman's sweet mother was not an anxious woman, as we had quite a long wait for Ayman's turn in the catheterization lab. While we waited Ruth and I enjoyed entertaining him with bubbles and silly games, helping him exercise, and observing the range of his abilities as he continues to slowly recover from what doctors suspect was a stroke suffered either during or after his surgery. Tomorrow an MRI of Ayman's brain is scheduled, followed by a meeting with a neurologist who will examine him to determine more details about his condition. So far the most notable part of Ayman's condition, in my opinion, is his visual attentiveness to what is happening around him as well as his spontaneous smile and laughter in response to something he likes. Yet much of the time, he also seems detached, as if pondering how he would like to respond, but cannot. But thankfully, his mother never wavers in her zeal and determination to encourage him in every way, an exemplary model of pure love towards her child.
It was around 3:30pm before Ayman was called for his turn with the doctors and his mother was allowed to carry him in to the catheterization lab. She remained strong for Ayman even though we could see her emotions bubbling up just below the surface, and were glad to keep her company after she released her precious son into the hands of God and the medical team. The nurse told us that the procedure would take about an hour, and if it wasn
When we visited Ayman and his mother in the hospital today, they both seemed to be in good spirits. He loved it when Donna and Kristina blew soap bubbles for him, and we all got into the act. He has a wonderful smile and laugh. His mother is very attentive, and is very good at keeping a four year old content.
During our visit, Dr. Amir was able to shed more light on Ayman's present condition. It is supposed that at some point during or after surgery, Ayman experienced a stroke. While he is smiling, laughing, and tracking with his eyes, his motor skills are minimal, and he has yet to speak. The right side of his body is also weaker than his left side. The good news in all of this, however, is that there is hope for significant recovery. Results from last week's CT scan revealed that Ayman should be able to regain muscular and speech abilities. It will be a long and gradual process, requiring special rehab treatment. Dr. Amir explained that as a visiting patient from Kurdistan, Ayman does not qualify for Sheba's rehab services. Thus, the cardiac nurses have been asked to include exercises in his daily care. Meanwhile, his mother is a beautiful example of devoted love and patience. Her pleasant spirit and affection bring light to Ayman's eyes.
Rather than being discouraged by her son's losses, she is finding joy in every measure of progress, big or small. As we continue to pray for God's complete healing in Ayman's body, may we be encouraged by the scripture which says, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." Zechariah 4:10.