We took Halo for an echocardiogram at Wolfson Medical Center today. It is hard to believe it has been only 10 days since Halo had his open-heart surgery. Every sign on his echo indicated that the operation was a complete success. Halo and his father have been anxious to return to Iraq because Halo's mother is suffering from a life-threatening form of cancer and the distance has been especially difficult for Abu Halo. But because it's been such a short time since his surgery, the doctors felt he needed at least another echo next Monday. After some quick negotiating a compromised was reached: Halo would come back for one more echo, but it would be done this Thursday rather than next Monday so that they could leave for Iraq on Friday.
Please pray for Halo, that his last echo Thursday will show only good signs, and that he will continue on the road to recovery. Pray also for his family as they find themselves in such a heavy situation being separated during these most difficult times.
Halo was released today from Wolfson Medical Center to return to stay with us in Jerusalem. He was so happy to get out of the hospital that he was laughing and smiling through the removal of his IVs without a flinch. It's the Jewish holiday Purim today, and one of the practices is to give charity, hospitalized children being prime candidates; and Halo has been receiving toys and candy all week long from visitors. When we left the hospital Halo and Abu Halo had two bags of clothes, and four bags of toys and candy!
Halo and Alaa got a picture with some of the visitors dressed for the occasion and eager to show them a little love as we left.
On our way back to Jerusalem we all stopped by Tel Ha Shomer hospital to visit Rasan and Um Rasan after their surgery. After visiting them we walked to the nearby Burger King and had a delightful meal together, complete with more toys, balloons, and crowns.
We arrived safely in Jerusalem after a long but exciting day.
I was delighted to see Halo awake in the ICU the day after his surgery and could immediately see the evidence of his successful surgery: he had beautiful pink lips! It also seemed that the clubbing of his fingers was already decreasing -- it was such joy to see how well he was doing less than 24 hours after his surgery was finished! He was sitting up in bed, wide awake, fully extubated, and looking rather bored at having to be kept in the ICU. His dad looked relieved and was very thankful for Halos good progress. I was able to share the translated handmade get well card with them which was sent from a church in the US, and present to Halo his cough pillow to ease the pain on his incision when he needed to cough.
This morning I got a call from Abu Halo informing me that Halo had been moved already to the ward, and is now in the room with his friend Omed. This should be a comfort to both boys, and, I suspect, a source of entertainment as well.
Please join us in thanking God for what He has done to take care of Halo in the process of healing his heart. Keep praying for his father, who seems more burdened this time with his family situation at home, besides the care he lovingly gives for his dear son Halo. May the perfect love of God reach deeply and relieve him of all his cares and burdens in a new way before he and Halo return to their home in the coming weeks.
The doctors were especially busy today and Halo was forced to wait outside the nurses station for perhaps 20 minutes or more, which was not good for his nerves. When he was called, he bravely stepped forward without a whimper and Abu Halo and I did our best to joke around with him, and encourage him during the process, and Halo played along laughing through much of the beginning. During the painful parts Halo and I shot imaginary Spider-Man webs at each other so he could focus on something else.
After getting through the procedure seemingly unaffected, immediately after the nurses finished and he sat up, Halo suddenly began to cry, not because of the physical pain, but because of the emotional stress of what was to come. It was very difficult to watch, more so than even the grimaces of pain. I promised Halo that after he was finished and got his hospital pajamas again that we could go back and play, and this perked him up some. We put together a Spider-Man puzzle with Donna until the play room closed and Donna and I had to leave.
Please keep this special boy in your prayers today as he is in surgery once again, and please also pray for the wisdom of the Lord for our staff to know how to best minister to him.