Last echo in Israel-happiness outweighs
Lava had one last echo at Sheba Hospital. As you can see in the picture, intelligent Lava is even helping the echo technician to perform her echo.
Lava is cleared to go back to Kurdistan without needing any medications. I am very thankful for God for this wonderful news.
Lava and her mother became like a family during their time here at Shevet. I’ve never met a mother like Lava’s mother during my term here thus far. She was always so patient with everything and never complained about anything. I would describe her as an angel and look back with love on the time that we spent together with little family.
I remember the hard days in the hospital when Lava was in surgery and the recovery time afterwards. These moments weren’t easy for Lava’s mom. I’m glad we were there for her and helped her to get through them. Even though I’m sad that on the one hand Lava and her angelic mother will go back to Kurdistan, the happiness outweighs definitely and I will be thrilled for them, for Lava’s brighter future, and will keep them in my mind and heart always.
Preparations for Bronchoscopy
Next week will be the important bronchoscopy appointment for little Lava at Sheba hospital. Part of the preparation today, was an appointment with the doctor to check about her current condition.
Lava was very happy most of the time today and smiled a lot. It was so nice to see how her mother was caring for her and doing her best to entertain Lava; she didn’t want Lava to become exhausted during the waiting time.
Both did such a good job in staying patient, and we are very thankful for that. At the end we were very happy to hear from the doctor, that Lava is fine and has no UTI infection anymore.
We got all the papers ready for the bronchoscope, and after a blood test we could drive back to Jaffa, where both are staying until next week for the important appointment.
Please pray for a successful bronchoscope!
Deferred release, two weeks more
Lava had a full day at Sheba hospital today with an echo and an ENT appointment. While the results of the echo and ENT visit didn’t provide the immediate answer we hoped for, the outcome was still very good.
Firstly, the surgeon who worked on Lava’s trachea said that she is breathing well, but because he is wanting to safely release her to Kurdistan, he is choosing to defer her leaving until he is sure she will not need further treatment. For this reason, her doctor has scheduled her last bronchoscopy for the end of next week to know beyond a doubt that she can safely return to Kurdistan.
This doctor knows Lava really well and has been seeing her since the early summer. Lava’s mother sees the excellence and thoroughness of his care and was not greatly moved by the news of waiting still and was able to ask questions that both she and her husband had talked about beforehand. It made me think that between her parents and these doctors, Lava is blessed with incredible caregivers in her life, for which she is so much better for.
On the cardiac front, because Lava will be here for two more weeks, the cardiologist decided to start decreasing her medicine before she goes back; this, too, was good news for Lava today. Lava’s mother continues to amaze us with her poise and strength and fierce devotion to what is best for Lava. The doctor remarked today in the appointment, that he could see that Lava’s mum and I were very close and that we only had about two more weeks together before he clears her to go back! This of course made us both laugh and was a good way to end the appointment- hopeful for the future.
Prescribed antibiotics for an infection
There is a word in Kurdish that means chubby – xapa, and in their culture, it is a very big compliment for a baby to be considered chubby. This is what we love to call Lava, and what many people today remarked on when we brought her to the ER at Sheba hospital.
How can she be sick, she looks so chubby and healthy? For some days Lava has been with a fever that comes and goes and has decreased appetite, so we planned to take her to the hospital for some tests. In the ER, the doctors found that Lava has an infection, and prescribed antibiotics for the next ten days.
Lava’s mum is amazing; it’s impossible to overstate how incredible she is. She is calm, never quick to worry, and so intelligent. She has been in and to the hospital loads of times, so today was a breeze. We took photos in a portable Sukkah to celebrate the Feast of Booths, one of the biblical holidays.
Two weeks have passed since Lava’s last ENT appointment, and we were excited about the possibility of Lava’s heading home to Kurdistan.
At Lava’s visit to Sheba hospital, the doctor decided that Lava would need to stay for a few more weeks. There is a possibility of her trachea narrowing and the doctors want to monitor the situation a bit longer. Upon hearing this news, Lava’s mother was very distressed, yet handled the situation with understanding and strength.
We are hopeful that their next visit to the hospital will bring news of sweet Lava and her mother’s long-awaited clearance to Kurdistan.
ENT visit, Lava doing well
Today we had an ENT appointment at Sheba Medical Center, where we talked with the doctor who checked about the development of Lava’s condition. The doctor is contented and wants to see little Lava again in two week’s time.
We were all very happy, because everything went well and pretty easily. We didn’t even need to wait for a long time, Julio translated for the mother and we exited the building with good news, already after one hour. Let’s pray that Lavas Condition keeps good and that the next appointment will be fine as well.
Prayers appreciated for Lava
Lava and her mother have been discharged from Sheba hospital to our community home today, after her balloon dilation last week. We love to have them staying with us and the time that we spend together with them is really nice because they feel like family to us.
Our prayers are for Lava’s assessment in two weeks. We pray she will remain in a condition good, and can return to her home soon. Lava’s mother has been very patient, away from her family a long time, and always displays a good attitude despite this.
A balloon dilation bronchoscopy
If you know Lava, you know she loves eating and loves being held; occasionally she likes to sleep.
The doctors had her fasting from twelve last night for her balloon dilation bronchoscopy, which meant that she was not very happy throughout the night.
This is the third procedure to treat the narrowing of her trachea, and when it was done (it’s only about an hour long), the doctor came out to where Lava’s mother and I were seated, and gave us the lovely news that he hopes this will be the last one she needs before she can go back to Kurdistan! It will be another few weeks before they can fly because Lava must have a test in three weeks time to see how much her trachea has narrowed.
Her mother is an amazing woman of resilience and strength. She has been so amazing through it all. I tried to explain an English idiom to her, “keep your head.” This characterizes her because she is always calm and thoughtful in circumstances where others might not be able to stay calm and think.
So now Lava is waiting to be discharged, God willing, tomorrow to Jaffa, and in the meantime, compensating for the hours of fasting by drinking all the milk she wants.
This means “chubby” in Kurdish and is considered also a very big compliment especially for a baby. Lava’s mother calls her little girl ‘xapa gyan,’ and ‘hanasakam,’ or ‘my breath,’ as well as Lava Lu, and many other cute nicknames.
Lava and her mother are so lovely, and always a joy to spend time with. They are back with us in our community house in Jaffa after Lava was kept days at the hospital after her bronchoscopy on Saturday night, but now has been discharged to wait for another procedure next week.
Thank you for your prayers for her.
This weekend Lava and her mother were visiting in Jerusalem. On Saturday morning, Lava’s mother called to say that Lava had been crying and nor drinking milk from the middle of the night. Moreover, she sent videos of Lava’s breathing which was very labored and had a wheezing sound.
Co-worker Georgia sent this to the doctor at Sheba hospital who had discharged her, and she said to bring Lava to the ER. They saw that she needed a bronchoscopy to open her airway. She was scheduled to have this procedure last week, but it was postponed; they did almost exactly the same thing in this bronchoscopy as they did in the last one during her hospitalization. However, the issue isn’t fully resolved and she may yet need to come back for a procedure with balloon dilation.
Throughout this harrowing situation, Lava’s mother was her rock. She has a soft and beautiful heart and is at the same time really able to endure so much. After the procedure Lava was much better, and so now we wait to see how she will be in the coming days.
Some narrowing in her trachea
This week at Sheba Medical, the doctors performed a bronchoscopy to find out why Lava was having a stridor. The test showed there was narrowing in her trachea. A few hours after this, she was taken into surgery to widen the area.
Because this was a non-cardiac operation, she had to be transported to a different building. This was very scary for her mother who asked why it wasn’t in the normal surgical area; she’d thought something was dangerously wrong that Lava had to be brought to a different OR.
Her question was valid and significant given how ill Lava was when she first came to the hospital and how just the night before, we lost a Kurdish baby in our community. Given the grief and heaviness of this loss, and how she was afraid for Lava now, I was determined to assure her that this procedure isn’t the same as an open-heart surgery; it is a small operation for Lava. As for the change in location, this is the area for all operations which aren’t for children’s heart’s.
After Lava was taken into the OR, she wanted to explore the shopping area nearby. We got chips and Snickers bars before returning to the waiting area. I could see her relax and to her relief, Lava’s operation only took about an area before Lava was out and being transported back to the ICU. She was in a very good condition after this surgery. Next week, the doctors will repeat the bronchoscopy to check if her trachea has stayed open or if it has narrowed again
Big progress for little Lava
Little Lava amazed all of the staff in her department at Sheba hospital today. Upon Lava’s arrival there on Thursday, she was unable to do anything with a bottle teat in her mouth at all.
However today, she showed her speech therapists that she has learned how to suck again. A big flock of doctors and nurses rushed in to see her as they were so pleased at her progress. Lava was bottle feeding successfully! She took a small volume, which was supplemented by the NG tube.
We hope to see her progress each day, and that she will be able to come to our community home with us soon. Well done Lava and her patient mum!
I found little Lava still intubated in her hospital room when I visited her today. Her lovely mother only speaks Kurdish and wanted to know how her Lava was doing. One of the nurses told me that Lava is doing well so far after that big surgery and they are planning to extubate her in this next few days. They wanted to extubate her already today, but after a previous echo was done for her, they weren’t completely satisfied yet with the function of her heart. So they want to wait with extubating her for now.
This is normal for a child like Lava who underwent a big surgery just yesterday. Other Kurdish moms are often also in the ICU to help each other and provide each other a kind of emotional support. They have each other and can speak the same language. It is lovely to see how fast they always connect with one another. In the picture it is from left to right the mother of Asmeen, Lava’s mother and Yadgar’s mother. A great support ministry amongst themselves.
First in two-part surgery tomorrow
Sweet Lava was called in to Sheba hospital today. She will be having part one of a two-stage surgery tomorrow. She is the first of the most recent group of children who traveled from Kurdistan, to have surgery. She is already late for the switch operation so this is why they are going in two steps.
Please be praying for her life, for her mother and for the surgery to be successful.
First assessment for Lava
Little girl Lava had to visit Sheba hospital today for her first assessment involving an echo and an ECG. During the assessment, Lava’s mother and I chatted a bit with each other to get to know each other. These parents are often worried and kind of afraid when they come to Israel because they don’t know anything here. It’s good that we can spend time with them to help them through the beginning.
Lava was crying during her examinations but her beautiful mother was by her side. The whole examination must have been quite exhausting for that little girl which is why she immediately fell asleep after it.
The doctors have to discuss Lava’s case now. As soon as they know what the treatment for her will look like, they’ll tell us and we can tell the family.
Let us pray for wisdom for the doctors that the Lord may lead them with their decision and for peace and patience for Lava’s lovely mother now.