I am a visitor to Shevet Achim from Colorado. Today I was invited to go to the hospital with Lya, her mother, another child and mom, and three volunteers. We did not have to wait long to get in for Lya
Today was a long day for sweet little Lya. Her first follow-up echo was scheduled at Wolfson Hospital, but before we left for the hospital, we had lunch with many guests from the United States. Lya
Our sweet Lya returned to Jerusalem this evening just eight days after open heart surgery. Her wispy curls, chocolate brown eyes, and laughter have surely been missed around here. And if I could speak for Lya, I believe she would say the feeling is mutual. She met me with outstretched arms today and cried every time I needed to set her down. In good humor, her mother explained that Lya was bored with her and needed new company. I was happy to oblige.
Today's echo confirmed that Lya's heart is mending well and strong enough to leave the hospital. No post-surgical fluid exists around her heart or lungs, and only two medications are needed to keep the situation as such. Lya is not quite her sprightly self yet, but give her time and we'll soon be chasing after her. I continue to be amazed at how quickly children rebound after such a life-altering experience. It is quite possible that within the next three weeks, Lya will be on a plane bound for Kurdistan!
While waiting for final discharge instructions, I had the pleasure of giving Lya a very special gift. As you may recall, her surgery date happened to fall on her second birthday. When this was made known to friends of Shevet, one of Lya's sponsors sent her and her mother a package that arrived just yesterday. Both mother and daughter seemed delighted when a lovely scarf, hand-made card, and plush teddy bear were presented to them. Lya was especially taken with the card. Its bright colors caught her attention, and she contentedly opened and closed it over and over again. Since the Kurdish culture doesn't typically emphasize birthday celebrations, this expression of love was even more significant.
Our hope and prayer for Lya is that she lives to see many more years, finding increasing joy in God's gift of grace.
Today's visit to Lya brought good news: She'd been moved to the secondary ICU last evening! After visiting Rozhgar and her mother, we went to find Lya. Her mother greeted us from the bedside, and little Lya was lying serenely in her bed. We learned that she hadn't eaten much at all today, and her mother was worried. Yesterday however, she overate, and was sick to her stomach. Otherwise, Lya is doing very well, praise God! Her activity consisted of holding her mother's hand off and on for most of our stay, that is, until the final few minutes. Lya's mother walked over to tell us goodbye, thus momentarily disappearing from Lya's view. Suddenly Lya was sitting up in bed looking around to find the most significant person in her world, and finding her quickly, refrained from tears even in this traumatic moment. We left mother and daughter doing well and hoping to move to the regular ward soon. Will you keep praying for this beautiful little girl as she heals, along with her family in Iraq?
Lya and her mother left our building in Jerusalem this afternoon for the Wolfson Medical Center. She has since been admitted for her heart surgery which is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Please remember to keep this exuberant and preciously precocious child in your prayers as she takes another step closer to a healthy and healed heart.