Samem and his mum spent the majority of their time before the surgery with Shadi and his mother, waiting together at the Shevet house. Samem loved Shadi very much, like his baby brother, and the two mothers became best friends, like sisters.
When we received the heart breaking news on Sunday that Shadi had died after his surgery, I’m sure that this beautiful friendship was a source of strength and comfort for both. Samem’s mother was determined to stand alongside Shadi’s mother and accompany her travelling home to Kurdistan, so that she would not need to make this journey alone. She asked us to check with the doctor, as we needed to be sure that he was happy with Samem’s recovery. We had all imagined this to be no problem, as Samem is so active and healthy. And the doctor was in agreement, based on his last echo, and cleared him to fly, and so they were able to travel together. Thank God for this smooth recovery for Samem.
Samem and his mother have been a wonderful blessing to all of us who have come to know them. Characteristic of Samem’s mothers caring and selfless attitude, today when we asked if she could help transport some batteries for an oxygen concentrator to bring another child for surgery, she said yes, and even if it meant she had to leave behind her own clothes, she would still take this to help the children who need it.
She is a kind and generous person, and as they leave us today, we can all reflect and know that our lives are better because we know her.
Samem was cleared by his doctor at Sheba hospital today to return back to Kurdistan. The doctor said he can travel back to Kurdistan without being checked again here, but when he is back he needs to go and see a cardiologist as soon as possible to make sure that he is recovering well.
We are very happy for Samem and his mother because they can be reunited with their family soon which is wonderful, thanks be to God. Sad to see them go though, Samem is a lovely, active boy and his mum has become like a sister to us.
Thank God for what he has done in the precious life of Samen. Please continue to pray for him that he will continue to be well and for good traveling for them both.
Samem, in many ways, enjoyed himself at the Sheba hospital today.
He had an echocardiogram, and during the waiting time, was very active and happy. He did not enjoy the actual echo experience too much, but thankfully it was quite short; the doctor was able to see easily that the surgery looked good and Samem was recovering well.
Samem needs to stay for another echo in two weeks so that he is a full month after the surgery. At that time, the cardiologist is expectant that Samem would be able to return home to Kurdistan.
So we are happy to have this joyful, playful and inquisitive little man staying with us for some more time! He and his mum are treasures, thank God for his timing and for Samem’s recovery.
Samem came home from Sheba hospital today to a warm reception at our community home. Everyone at the house celebrated his discharge from the hospital along with a birthday of one of the mothers and we ate dinner together tonight.
Samem’s recovery was very fast. The day after his surgery, he was moved into the intermediate ward so it was no surprise that he has been released to our house in Jaffa today.
The best word to describe his mother is relieved. As we ate dinner tonight, she looked like the weight of the world had been taken off her shoulders and so happy for her healthy boy before her eyes. He is, of course, enjoying being back with his friends, including Shevie, our community dog!
Samem was already awake, extubated, and feeling good when we saw him at Sheba hospital today. He was not completely his usual cheerful self, and was quietly watching videos on YouTube.
He was visibly happy to hear that his “little brother” Shadi, another Kurdish baby staying with us, had come to the hospital and sent Samem a kiss, as little Shadi wasn’t allowed in the room to see Samem.
Of course some of our other Kurdish mothers were all asking after Samem, and were wanting to see his mum. She is well liked by everyone.
By the end of the day, Samem had been moved into the intermediate unit, as he is making such good progress.
I found Samem’s mother very worried and in tears this morning at Sheba hospital. Samem had just gone into his surgery. An attending doctor said the surgery would take up to five hours.
After around four hours, one of the doctors came out of the OR to share the good news that Samem’s surgery was done, and they were able to fix all the problems he was dealing with.
When Samem’s mother heard this good news, she cried tears of relief and immediately called her family to share her happiness.
It took around another hour to close his chest. They then took Samem to the ICU where he is now stable and waiting for a good recovery.
During surgery, I appreciated the waiting time spent with Samem’s mother. It gave us a chance to get to know each other a bit. She is a lovely mother and showed me beautiful pictures of her family back in Kurdistan, all of them waiting for her. She has another daughter younger than Samem, and I hope they can be reunited soon.
She spoke to her husband on the phone today during the waiting time also, and he was trying to encourage her, but couldn’t prevent himself from also crying. A sad scene to witness, but beautiful at the same time. It showed how much Samem’s father loves and cares for his family.
Your prayers for this little trooper are greatly appreciated.
Spending time with Samem reminds me of the phrase that we have in American English, “It’s his world, and we’re just living in it.”
His vivacious and adventurous personality is very strong. He loves exploring and is, in all things, quite determined. When we went to the supermarket at the hospital, he saw a carriage and was committed to driving it around the store.
Today, when he was admitted to the hospital for his cardiac surgery tomorrow, one of the mother’s from the floor commented that he looked really healthy. You wouldn’t know he had a heart defect, although this weighs heavily and constantly in his mother’s heart and mind.
Please pray for him as this brave and endearing boy goes into the operation, and for his mother to have ultimate hope for Samem’s future and for a positive outcome from his surgery tomorrow.
Samem had an ultrasound scan today at Sheba hospital, one appointment slot ahead of another Kurdish baby. We traveled together in the same car with that baby and mother, and it was very sweet to see Samem’s affectionate personality developing towards the other baby.
Samem’s ultrasound scan will be reviewed by the medical team and we can ask for the results of their discussion tomorrow. Their discussion is strategic in helping to plan every element of Samem’s surgery appropriately beforehand.
Samem seems to quite enjoy his days at the hospital, and the procedures don’t appear to upset him at all. He is extremely cute to always say “thank you” (in English) with a thumbs up, which he did today for the ultrasound technician.
Today the happy little Samem had an appointment at the urologist, as he has some problems when he wants to go to the toilet. Therefore he was checked by the urologist.
The outcome of the appointment today is that the doctor didn’t see anything conspicuous but he recommended to make an ultrasound and come back to him after that.
Samem is a brave boy and didn’t cry during the examination. Please continue to pray for this lovely boy and for his mother who is waiting patiently for his surgery. May God give her peace and continued patience.
Today, Samem had his first assessment at Sheba hospital. He had an Echo, an ECG and a blood test. He is a very active and happy boy with a beautiful smile who loves to interact and play with other people. He is the oldest child we have with us in our community house at the moment.
His age showed during his echo as he acted the big, brave boy and didn’t cry all. He just lay there peacefully until the echo and ECG were finished. His lovely mother was calling his father during that time. Samem’s dad was happy to see and speak to his beloved son on the phone. Samem is truly loved by his two parents, which is lovely.
After the echo, while waiting to speak with the doctor, Samem was looking at everything in the room as his mother explained to him what each thing was. He is a smart boy. He seemed to understand what his mom explained to him. They have a beautiful relationship with each other.
The doctor told us that his team would discuss Samem’s case to decide which surgery they want to do for Samem. Please pray for this happy boy and his lovely mother. Their family is missing them back in Kurdistan.
Today I drove to the Jordan river crossing to collect two new families from Kurdistan.
This is Samem. He and his mother were already outside and waiting on the Israeli side of the border, so they just got in the Shevet van and we made our way back to our community house in Jaffa.
Because I don’t speak any Kurdish, I called someone to translate. Samem’s mother thought she was still in Jordan. I said to the translator that he can share the good news with them that they are finally in Israel now and that we are on the way to Tel Aviv.
In the evening we arrived, my co-worker Sabrina and I saw Samem playing in his room at our community home. We agreed that we are both happy and exited to have him here because he is our biggest child now. He‘s walking around by himself unlike all our other babies here and from our quick evaluation of him, he’s also very active.
We look forward to the end of their quarantine to play with him. Please pray for him and his coming assessments at Sheba hospital!