At last able to return to her family
This morning I received an unexpected call from Amar who told me that Asma and her grandmother can go back to Gaza today. So after saying goodbye, we made our way from Jerusalem to Jaffa, where a taxi collected them later.
Even though I don’t speak Arabic, Asma’s grandmother always received me with such a kind smile which I surely won’t forget. Both stayed with us for another few days in Jaffa and Jerusalem after Asma was discharged from Schneider hospital, because the Erez crossing was closed.
Please continue to pray for their family and especially for Asma, as she will have another cath in future.
With her diagnostic cath complete, Asma was discharged from Schneider today. Given the exchange of the rockets between Israel and Gaza, the Erez border is temporarily closed so Asma and her auntie will be staying in our Jaffa house until it is possible for them to re-enter Gaza.
When she arrived to our community home, she and co-worker Georgia realized they were wearing similarly matching outfits, which they both found really fun. After her cath I hope that she can have rest, reprieve, and some fun with us in Jaffa. She’s a young girl who has undergone so much, and still there is work to be done in figuring out the logistics of the four therapeutic catheterizations she will need which will constitute her actual neurological treatment.
Please pray with us for this endeavor, but we know this: she is worth every endeavor.
Diagnostic cath completed today
Asma’s diagnostic catheterization took about two hours at Schneider hospital today. Having never been to a cath at Schneider before, it was really God’s grace that I practically collided with her auntie who was exiting the catheterization unit. We embraced and then settled into the wait.
We went for a walk around the hospital together and in this time we chatted. She told me about her life. I thought of how privileged Asma is to have such a guardian with her in lieu of her parents. When we went back to wait outside the cath lab, there were other families also waiting to hear their child’s name called which signaled that the cath was finished, and the child was waking up from the anesthesia. Finally we heard Asma’s name and entered the unit.
The doctor discussed with Asma’s aunt that they will need to do a series of three or four therapeutic catheterizations to close some abnormal vessels in her brain. As this is the first time in years Shevet is working with Schneider hospital, there are many logistics to work out, so please be praying for the timing and finances to work out so that we can help with these procedures.
Asma returned to Israel from her home in Gaza today to be hospitalized for her catheterization tomorrow. When I first met her, I wrote that she seems beyond her years and I was reminded of this again seeing her today, as she interacted with the medical staff.
Because of the permission the Erez border gave, she has come again with her aunt instead of a parent which is what the hospital requested last February. Her auntie is really wonderful and knows how to engage and communicate with Asma in stressful situations. But my hope is that Asma’s parents know she is in good hands here. Evidence of this care can be seen in the Neurological doctor who came from a different hospital just to examine her,
and in the financial department working on scheduling this appointment, the nurses who memorize a few Arabic phrases to communicate with their Arab patients, and in those sponsoring this treatment for Asma; people have really come together around this girl. She is cared for; she is loved.
Asma asked me to inquire of the doctors if the cath will be dangerous tomorrow, and due to the location of the lesion in her brain, the answer is that any intervention is risky, so please pray for this sweet girl. We are also praying that surgery would be an option to help her condition.
When Asma and her aunt came out of Gaza, the first thing Asma did was give me her hand to shake and confidently say hello. She is a beautiful and sweet girl who seems beyond her years in every interaction.
We left the Erez border crossing and were on the way to Schneider hospital to the Neurology Clinic, as her case is not a cardiac one. However, about half-way there, co-worker Amar who arranged her appointment, called to say that because it was late in the day, her appointment was rescheduled for next week. This meant that she would be staying in Jaffa for the time being at our community house on the Mediterranean coast.
Both Asma and her aunt took the sudden change of plans in their stride. When we arrived in Jaffa, she asked, “Is this Israel?” as she looked in the direction of the beach from our house.
Some of our families were having tea outside on the long sun-deck and Asma and her aunt were invited to join. The Kurdish families were so welcoming and kind.
This evening Asma experienced one of the headaches she gets, so please pray for her as she waits. Its hard to believe and sad to think that this is her ‘normal.’ Please keep her in prayer especially for her upcoming consultation, and that we could find a real way to help her.
11-year-old Asma was discovered in Gaza to have a malformation of blood vessels in her brain. Palestinian doctors who examined her in Nablus, Ramallah and East Jerusalem all agreed she can only be safely treated by a specialist in Israel using advanced endovascular intervention.
Here’s the plea we received this week from Asma’s father:
Tuesday God willing we will bring Asma from Gaza to the specialist at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center for evaluation.