Yesterday, after four months in Israel, beautiful Mariya was cleared to return to Kurdistan. Her ENT doctor said there is no problem with the physiology of her throat, so the noisy breathing her mom has been worried about should improve as Mariya grows.
Later, Mariya’s urologist explained that Mariya has a cyst on her left kidney, but it is not impairing the function of the kidney at all so it is safe for her to go home without intervention. Mariya will have one final consultation with a nephrologist on Wednesday and, Lord willing, will fly home Wednesday night.
Today, coworker Joanne and I took Mariya and her mom to Jerusalem for the day. We visited the Garden Tomb, and then headed to the Old City for shopping in the bazaar.
For Mariya and her mom, the excursion included a trip to the mosque.
Mariya’s mom is truly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Yesterday, she told me she’s happy to go home but she’s sad to leave all of us because we are like sisters to her, and after visiting the mosque today, she told me she prayed for all of us at Shevet Achim. I’m so grateful for the time we’ve spent with her and her sweet little girl here in Israel.
Praise God for his love and care for these two beautiful souls.
Failed separation from NG tube
Mariya is continuing her time in Sheba hospital. She is seeing a specialist for eating difficulties every week; the doctors did try to remove the feeding tube, but after twenty four hours, she was dehydrated because she could not drink enough milk, so they had to put in he NG tube once again.
She is also particularly susceptible to viruses in the hospital, so please be praying for her, and that soon she would be able to be released from the hospital, although it is a blessing that she can do many of the specialist appointments as an inpatient that otherwise would have been scheduled months into the future.
Today is special because it’s Mariya’s birthday. Twice today, many doctors discussed this little girl’s case. Yesterday, she had a fluoroscopy procedure and today we had an appointment in the Eating Disorder Clinic, where coworker Moshe helped us a lot with translation.
Because of these results, and also based on Mariya’s weight gain improvement, her willingness to eat and drink milk via mouth, the doctors are very optimistic. They even plan to remove the tube very soon.
Also the doctors want Mariya to eat food via mouth and will watch how her body reacts to this. It’s clear that there is no surgery needed, but she has to stay in the hospital for at least one week. Mariya’s mother hopes that she can come to our community home in Jaffa again as soon as possible.
So let’s pray for a little more patience, although it’s been needed for a long time. Mariya and her mother still need our prayers, but let’s thank God for the improvements in Mariya, evident from today’s appointments.
The potential plan for today was for Mariya to be discharged from Sheba Medical Center to our community home in Jaffa. Those plans got changed, but truly for the better!
Mariya still has the feeding tube and is unable to eat otherwise. Mariya’s doctor was able to schedule a nephrology appointment for Mariya tomorrow (there wasn’t an opening till February initially). Then on Thursday she will be having a urology appointment. Hopefully next Tuesday, she will have an appointment at the Eating Disorder Clinic. Then hopefully next Tuesday, she will have an appointment at the Eating Disorder Clinic.
These are all appointments that God and the staff of Sheba truly provided a way for her to have. Thank the Lord for his provision.
When I visited little Mariya at Sheba hospital, she was crying the whole time and her mother confirmed that this is her normal status currently. Mariya also doesn’t sleep very well either. It breaks my heart to hear this and I really hope that it gets better. We talked about the other discharges and really hope that Mariah will be one of them soon.
When I talked to the doctor, it didn’t seem that it would be soon. Although her heart is okay, Mariya receives her milk through a tube and because of an infection, she is taking antibiotics.
Please pray for patience for her mother and healing for sweet Mariya.
Since beginning to run a fever almost a week ago, Mariya has not been her usual cheerful self. Yesterday, when I stopped by Sheba hospital briefly to say hello, I learned that Mariya was having stomach problems and had not been able to have milk for a couple of days. Her eyes and cheeks looked a bit sunken, and her mom told me Mariya was unhappy all the time because she didn’t feel well.
You can imagine, then, what a welcome surprise it was this afternoon, when I found Mariya wide awake and happily drinking milk. Even better, her mom was feeding her through a bottle, and the NG tube she’s had for months is gone! The doctor said she is much better today, and they are working to help her relearn how to eat without the tube.
Mariya’s mom was absolutely elated by her sweet girl’s recovery and so excited to show me how Mariya can drink from a bottle now. She told me over and over that Mariya is good now, so she is good too and everything is okay. Praise God for Mariya’s recovery, and please pray she will adjust well to eating without her NG tube.
Today, I found our normally cheerful, giggly Mariya very solemn and subdued. She has just started running a fever, and while the doctors are waiting on blood test results, they’ve started her on antibiotics immediately in case of infection. This is disappointing news for her mother, who has been so pleased with Mariya’s smooth recovery so far.
I always look forward to visiting Mariya and her mother and I try to stop by at least for a couple of minutes every time I’m at Sheba hospital. She has been moved to a different floor and I was happy to see that her new room is right next door to a couple of other Shevet babies. I’m grateful that her mother will have good company while she waits for Mariya’s test results.
Please pray that whatever is causing the fever will be minor and easily treatable, and for Mariya’s mother, who is quite worried about her baby girl.
Rachel and I visited Mariya and her mother today. It was very nice to see her, because we already got to know each other in the guesthouse in Jaffa.
She was very cute today. We were able to talk to her mother, although our Kurdish is not the best yet. She told us that Mariya is doing very well, but crying a lot. The doctors explained that they are giving her the medicine that is needed, and Mariya is getting better and better. They will extubate her soon. This is great news and we thank our Lord. Please pray that the positive developments for little Mariya continue and that she will get more used to being in the hospital.
Praise be to God for a successful surgery for Mariya today! As of last night, the doctors were unsure as to whether they would perform the surgery today. But coworker Rachel and I arrived at Sheba hospital first thing this morning to find that Mariya had gone into surgery just minutes earlier.
Waiting with a mother during her child’s surgery is a unique experience in how anxious, yet beautiful a time it can be. Today was no exception. During the four hours Mariya was in surgery, I sat with her mother while she cried, giggled over pictures of Mariya, called friends and family back home for support, and again and again, lifted her face and whispered prayers for her baby girl.
Neither one of us could stop smiling when the doctor came out to say the surgery was over and successful. She turned and gave me the biggest hug, repeating, “alhamdulillah!” (praise be to God) over and over. When she saw I was starting to cry, she burst out laughing and kept saying, “No, no, it’s okay now!”
She was overjoyed to see Mariya after surgery, but it was a bit startling for her as well. The doctors had not yet removed the chest tube or breathing tube, and I can only imagine how jarring it must be for her to see her lively, happy baby girl lying still and connected to all those machines. When I stopped by again later, though, she was settling into the room in the ICU and full of exuberant joy over her sweet girl.
Thanks be to God for Mariya’s successful surgery and his immeasurable love for this precious little girl!
Admitted to Sheba for surgery
Mariya had quite a long day at Sheba hospital today. This morning, she had an appointment with a doctor in the gastroenterology clinic in the hope that we could find out why she’s still struggling to keep milk down.
Thankfully, the doctor’s report was encouraging. Mariya is gaining weight at a good pace and there doesn’t seem to be an underlying health condition behind her current situation. Instead, he suspects that her body just needs to “relearn” how to process food after being fed through an NG tube for the last seven months. He advised a consultation with a dietician and seemed confident that Mariya’s condition will improve.
As we finished the appointment in the gastro clinic, coworker Alena called me with the news that Mariya would be admitted to Sheba today and possibly have her surgery tomorrow. Mariya’s mother and I took her up to the cardiology department for an ECG and corona test, and after a long afternoon of waiting, Mariya was admitted to the hospital this evening. If there is a room open in the ICU tomorrow, Mariya will be taken into surgery tomorrow morning. Please pray that this is possible.
I really enjoyed spending the day with Mariya and her mother, who has such a sweet and beautiful heart. She’s always eager to teach me new words in Kurdish and Arabic, and we had some good laughs over our struggle to communicate via Google Translate.
It’s beautiful to see her tender love for her baby girl in the way she holds Mariya’s tiny hands in hers or hugs her close and whispers her name over and over.
Lastly, thank God for an exceptionally kind and helpful medical team today. From the very friendly gastroenterologist to the nurse who took the time to discuss a favorite singer with Mariya’s mother, the Sheba staff was warm and welcoming.