After spending one more day with us here in Ashdod yesterday, we had a beautiful farewell party last night for Nozhdar. There we were spoiled one last time with good Kurdish food from Nozhdar’s mother. It wasn’t an easy goodbye as we all learned to love Nozhdar and his mother so much. His mother shared with us all her thankfulness for everything we did for her and how we have been her family in the time she was here.
Nozhdar is probably the funniest one year old I have ever known, with his cute little walk, his smile and his attempts to say our names, he made everyday so much better.
And his mother just cared for everyone here as a mother of all. She took care of all the kids in the house, the other mothers, and the new families that came to our house, and she cooked for everyone and made sure we were all doing okay. We will miss them both so much here, the family house won’t be the same without them.
Early this morning, coworker Joanne and I brought them to the airport. Nozhdar’s mother had collected a lot of stuff in her time here and wanted to bring it all back home, so she had so many big bags that we doubted that they would allow her to bring it all.
But God provides and we could witness that once again. After the first security questioning, the security guard helped Nozhdar’s mom to take care of everything and made sure all her things will make it safely to Kurdistan even though this was not his job. He spoke Arabic and was the perfect help in the moment. He brought her through to the last security control where we were not allowed to enter anymore and so we had to finally say goodbye.
We will never forget the time we got to spend with Nozhdar and his mother and even though it was a goodbye under tears, we are so thankful and joyful for the healing God brought in Nozhdar’s life. Please keep praying for him and his family! God please move in this family and allow them to get to know you! Please keep them safe and bless them!
This morning started with Nozhdar’s mom knocking on our door just as we were finishing our morning meeting and bringing Nozhdar over to our side. He wanted to see us and our community dog Shevie. Nozhdar was all dressed up for his echo at Sheba Hospital.
We arrived a little bit late for his echo but once the secretaries saw Nozhdar in his cure outfit, they all had only smiles for him. While waiting for his echo Nozhdar was running around and walking into every room he could possibly find.
After his echo was done, we just waited a little while until his doctor showed up in the waiting area and told his mother that he has looked at the pictures and there is no reason why Nozhdar couldn’t get discharged to Kurdistan!
Nozhdar’s mom was full of joy, hugged me directly and told me how excited she is to see her other son again! We still had to wait a while until Nozhdar’s report was finished and we enjoyed the waiting time playing with Nozhdar and just watching him.
Thank you God for healing this cute boy and for allowing him and his mom to go home finally! Please bless the last days they still have here with us and help us to be a blessing to them!
This morning we brought our cute boy back to Sheba Hospital for his eighth post surgery echo. Already in the elevator we met one of his former ICU doctors who was very happy to see him and told us how cute Nozhdar is. That’s what continued through the whole day – everyone who saw this cute boy was directly filled with joy and smiled at him.
Nozhdar still doesn’t like echoes very much but his mother was very good in distracting him so that he was barely crying. His doctor had the good news for us that the fluids around his heart decreased a lot so they can reduce his meds again, but he still is some steps away from getting discharged home. He needs another echo on Wednesday, but still his doctor doesn’t expect that Nozhdar can go home after that. Thia was a little bit disappointing for his mother. She took it very well though as she only wants the best for Nozhdar.
We still had to wait a while until another child was finished in the hospital.
So we went with Nozhdar to a playground outside which he enjoyed a lot.
He is full of energy and dragged us everywhere and gave us his beautiful smile so often.
Thank you God for this amazing boy! Please allow him to go back to his family soon!
Today Nozhdar had his follow-up Echo at Sheba Hospital to see whether his new medication is reducing the fluids around his heart. We picked him and his lovely mother up this morning, he was still sleeping in my arms, and drove to the hospital. After some waiting time at the hospital, Nozhdar was called in.
In the beginning, Nozhdar didn’t really like what was going on, but when coworker Zech started playing with the cars, Nozhdar got curious and even happy. When the Echo was done, Nozhdar’s doctor entered the room.
As soon as the doctor saw the echo pictures, he was really relieved and told us that the fluids reduced. So we should keep on giving Nozhdar that medication and on Sunday he has his next Echo appointment.
When Nozhdar’s mother heard this news, she was happy but at the same time, she was still a bit sad. Before every Echo she is hoping it could he the last one, but still she is here in Israel. Please pray for patience and strength for this wonderful woman and her adorable son. Please also ask the Lord for a soon return to Kurdistan for them!
Today Nozhdar had an Echo again, we hoped it would be his last. We were heading to Sheba Hospital in the morning full of hope and joy that this is maybe his last trip to the hospital. After some waiting time, the Echo technician called us in and to my surprise, Nozhdar wasn’t scared at all. He didn’t like the feeling of the Echo machine on his chest, so he cried a bit, but it was easy to distract him and make him laugh again. After the Echo was done we had to wait a bit more for his ECG and after that was the time to talk to his doctor.
He explained that Nozhdar still has too much fluid in his body, so he changed the medication a bit. We will give that to Nozhdar in the next two days and then the next Echo will take place. Hopefully – finally – his last one.
Nozhdar’s mother was very disappointed when she heard that, so on our way back to Ashdod we stopped in a mall, cheered Nozhdar up with a stuffed animal, and his mother with some food. We also had a really fun time in the car and enjoyed the time we could spend with them. I thank God for the great day we had and for the close relationship to this family that we’ve cultivated. Please keep praying for Nozhdar, that the fluids will reduce and he and his mother can go home soon!
We packed up early this morning and got to Sheba Hospital right on time for Nozhdar’s echo appointment today. Nozhdar slept through most of the transit. He cried when the doctor began his examination, but his mother rested her head on his and comforted him until he settled.
The doctor found that a bit of fluid—not enough to be concerned over, but enough to warrant continued watching—remained accumulated around Nozhdar’s heart. He stressed that there was nothing to worry about and asked that we keep Nozhdar on his current medications and bring him back next week for another follow-up echo.
Nozhdar, back to his bright and beaming self, laughed and smiled on the examination table, and then more as he ran around playing in the hospital waiting room.
His mother was discouraged at yet another delay in her return home, but she soon regained her spirits. We pray that next week’s results will be entirely clear so that she and her son can be reunited with their family at home after months away.
While Bria and I visited the ICU, a clown employed by the hospital visited the children in the waiting room.
Nozhdar got a few stickers out of the visit, which he insisted on keeping on his face.
Here is a young man who rejoices in life—praise God! We look and wait for his completed healing!
Today was the follow up Echo at Sheba Hospital for precious little Nozhdar. It was an early start for them both but to my amazement, the Echo was over even before I was able to park the car and get back to them. I found Nozhdar busy chasing his balloon and hanging out with mum to fill the time until we could head back home.
Good news is the fluid around Nozhdar’s heart is gone and everything looks good. Please pray the follow up Echo in a week is still good so they are one step closer to going home. We’re thankful for this awesome news and progress, and we pray blessing over Nozhdar, this lovely lively little man.
Today at Sheba Hospital, Nozhdar had his third echo within a week and his doctor had the great news that Nozhdar looks so much better now! The fluid around his heart decreased significantly so the doctor was able to reduce one of his medications from three times a day to only one time a day.
He wants to see him again on Sunday when he hopes to decrease another medication. This is all really great news and Nozhdar’s mother was very thankful even though she was a little bit disappointed as she hopes with every echo that Nozhdar will be allowed to go back home to Kurdistan.
Nozhdar showed a lot of patience during his echo, cuddled with his mom and especially enjoyed the cars in the waiting area afterwards. Thank you God for all the progress he is making!
This day started early for Nozhdar and his mother as he was going into surgery at Sheba Hospital this morning at eight and the nurses already started preparing him for it much earlier. I arrived in his room at 7 and his mom directly hugged me tightly. She kept herself together to be strong for her boy, but I could feel that she was very nervous.
At eight in the morning, his mom was allowed to bring Nozhdar in his stroller to the preparation room, as this was the only way he calmed down and accepted the situation. He was fighting against his IV and everything that looked like any medical device. When we arrived in the preparation room and the anesthesiologist talked to his mother, Nozhdar didn’t cry anymore, but looked very skeptical. A little bit later his mother was allowed to carry him to the OR and wait until he fell asleep before she came out again. At this point, all her emotions came out too. She hugged me and didn’t stop crying. Her little boy was just at the beginning of his open heart surgery and she was worried. What if he will not do well or will never come out again?
After some time, mother calmed down again, could sleep a while, talked to a few other mothers, and ate with me. The doctors had told her that the surgery will take around four hours, but after only three hours, the surgeon exited the OR and told us the surgery is finished and they are just closing his chest now.
They successfully closed his ASD with a patch and Nozhdar is doing well.
And again his mom hugged me directly – this time relieved, happy and thankful! ‘Spas bo xwa,’ thank God!
After another hour, Nozhdar was back in his room. When we went to him two hours later, he was slowly waking up and fighting against his ventilator – so the doctors extubated him and we found him breathing on his own and getting more and more alert. Later when his mother left his room for a while to buy Nozhdar a few little things, he was crying so the nurses played some YouTube videos on the screens next to his bed. This evening his mother sent me a couple of pictures of Nozhdar recovering more and more. He just arrived last week in Israel and now his heart is already repaired – such a miracle!
Thank you God for being with Nozhdar and his mother today. And thank you for this amazing surgery. Please let him stay stable in the next critical hours!
Early this morning I picked up Nozhdar from the airport. We arrived with his mom to our community home in Ashdod. They were very tired when they arrived to the house, so they first wanted to sleep of course.
Nozhdar is a cute little guy. When he gives you his smile, it will make every day better. Tomorrow morning Nozhdar will already have his first echo at Sheba Hospital and we pray for him and his mom and all their time waiting in front of them.