Four days after Sarah was released from the hospital, I found her happy and seemingly healthy at the Save a Childs Heart house in Azur. I took a picture of her with her buddy Nahro. The day after my visit, Sarah was back in the ICU due to fluid in her lungs and around her heart. Today she was once again released from the hospital and returned to the Save A Child's Heart house.
I have noticed a drastic change in both Sarah and her mother following the operation. Before the operation, Sarah was always quick to jump in my arms, but never spoke. Now she is talking all the time. Her mother is also full of smiles.
Please continue to pray for Sarah's recovery.
Sarah is doing great, but it was hard for me to take a photo of her at first, because she refused to smile. In the end, I was able to take a picture of her with her mother. You can feel the peace on her mother's face now that she sees how well Sarah is doing.
Sarah also posed with her friend Hussein, while they were preparing to leave the hospital. They will continue their recovery at the Save A Child's Heart house near the hospital, until they have a clean bill of health and can return home to Iraq.
Sarahs mothers brow has been furrowed with worry over the last few weeks as she eagerly anticipated her daughters turn for surgery. To everyones surprise that surgery took place this morning.
When I encountered her mother today, that furrowed brow had been wiped clean and replaced by a warm peace. From this I could tell that Sarahs surgery had gone well. Entering the ICU at Wolfson Medical Center we found Sarah stretched out on the table in a chemically induced coma. This is a standard procedure for patients post-surgery.
As I looked more closely, I could see Sarah sucking her upper teeth, a habit she unconsciously performed while she was awake. I remarked to the mother this little observation by imitating it myself. When I did it roused Sarah from her coma suddenly. She struggled briefly to sit up while a nurse hurried over to help put her back to sleep. Though it was alarming for both the mother and myself, it showed she had strong life in her.
Surgeon Lior Sasson said the tetralogy of fallot repair went very well. If everything goes well her tubes will be removed tomorrow.
Sarah moved to the Shevet Achim house last Wednesday and is still awaiting her first heart surgery. She is in need of dental care and she can't be operated on until that is taken care of. Cavities or infected gums are a great risk to a heart condition, because they introduce germs and bacteria into the blood system. These germs and bacteria can develop an infection on the heart lining, which is very dangerous. When Sarah's dental treatment is complete, she will be ready for surgery.
Last Saturday the four children staying in Jerusalem (Sarah, Juliana, Mustafa and Shinyar) and their mothers and I all enjoyed going to a church service at an international congregation. We also visited the Old City as a group. Sarah's mother has actually been to the Old City twice and really has benefited from it! By the end of her two trips she was decked out in an entirely new outfit.
I could tell that she really appreciated the opportunity to buy herself something nice. For the most part Sarah's mom has been very quiet and withdrawn, in fact the first day she was here she cried because she missed her family so much. She also was sad because she wanted to stay with the same group of women that she arrived with, but she had to leave them when she came to the Shevet house. Mustafa's mother comforted her by telling her that she had already seen four different sets of mothers come and go with successful surgeries during her five-month wait! Please keep Sarah's mother in your prayers as she goes through this time of missing family and being without the comfort of familiar faces.
Another outing that lifted everyone's spirits was the beach--we took Sarah and her mother to the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. Sarah had fun playing in the sand with her new friend Juliana (see the picture at the top).