Somaia is a child that not only is well known in the entire pediatric ICU at Sheba Hospital, but who also grew very close to our heart in the nearly ten months she spent in the hospital. Today was her first follow-up echo after her discharge two months ago and the first thing I did after arriving in the hospital with her and her sweet mother, was to bring them to the ICU where all the staff was so excited to see her. It only took a few seconds until everyone left what they were doing behind and came to see this beautiful girl and to talk to her mother.
They had missed Somaia just as we did and only a moment later, she was not in my arms anymore.
Later when Somaia was in her ECG, again two doctors were walking in, looking for the little miracle that everyone was so excited about. It was amazing to hear from her cardiologist later that her heart is very well and there is no problem in the moment with that.
On the other side, they also had to realize that Somaia was losing weight since she was last here and was throwing up, having diarrhea and fever the last few days. They have sent her to the ER immediately where they did some blood tests and monitored her for a while until we decided with her cardiologist that it’s best for Somaia to go back to Gaza and get admitted in the hospital there. They want to do more tests there and watch her closely until she gains weight and gets better.
Please pray for her and all her doctors there, that they can figure out the problem and help Somaia. She just turned one year old a few days ago and it was so encouraging to see her in a better condition. Yes, she is not doing perfect and still has a long way ahead of her, but she is alive, awake, able to breath on her own and developing – more than we dared to hope around a year ago!
The 22nd of March was the day Somaia came to Sheba Medical Center as an emergency newborn. And now, ten months later, Somaia is finally ready to return to her loving home and family.
It feels a bit ‘off’ to walk through the ICU, knowing that Somaia and her mother are not in their room anymore. It didn’t matter how full our day was, we knew that somewhere in the hospital we would find Somaia’s mother and she would give us a big hug, kisses and a great smile. She always wanted to show Somaia to us and update us on how she was doing. Somaia has been through a lot, and I have to admit that sometimes I asked the Lord what His plan was for her. To see her laying still in her ICU bed for months, it seemed hopeless.
But after a couple of months, Somaia improved and improved. And now she can breath on her own and she learns how to eat. She is a miracle. Even though we will miss Somaia and her mother so much, we are so happy that they will be reunited with the rest of the family. Somaia will stay in a hospital in Gaza for a time, where her family can visit her.
Somaia’s impact on the ICU staff became visible today when all the nurses and doctors came over to say goodbye to ‘Sumsum.’ Please join us in continuing to pray for Somaia.
Somaia is very close to her discharge after being at Sheba Hospital for nine months. All the materials that she needs to be able to go back to Gaza arrived and her mother is learning how to take care of Somaia.
Right now Somaia has a small infection around her PEG-tube, so let’s pray that it won’t affect her general health too much as she is so close to finally returning to her beloved home and family. But it is good to be careful and to make sure that Somaia will be good enough to be discharged.
Somaia’s mother is so happy that the discharge is close. She is always happy and likes to give us big hugs and kisses, but this week she is even more happy than that. Thank you for all of your prayers for Somaia that have helped to carry her through. Please keep praying for her.
Today I met as usual Somaia’s mother somewhere in the hospital comforting other mothers whose kids are in surgery. She told me joyfully that Somaia is doing well and the doctors are planning to move her to the secondary ICU. I didn’t really believe this until I talked to her doctor who told me that Somaia is off the ventilator day and night since three days!
They are starting to prepare her discharge to Gaza and plan to move her to the intermediate ICU today or in the next days. This is such a big step for our girl. Since more than nine months, every time I walked into the ICU, Somaia was there too. How great if she will finally be able to move to a different ward. I can’t wait to see Somaia in her more private room in the secondary ICU and to visit her there! Thank you God for doing this miracle and bringing Somaia so far! It’s such a proof that it’s worth never giving up hope!
This is great news! A nurse reported to me today at Sheba Hospital that Somaia has been without the ventilator for three days now. It is only connected at night. Praise the Lord! If she continues to make such progress, she could soon be discharged – after a full nine months in the hospital. Together with the nurses, we remembered what Somaia had already gone through. We agreed that Somaia’s life is a real miracle.
As always, there was a good atmosphere in Somaia’s room at the ICU. She practiced counting again with her mother. For every success we celebrated her, but our thoughts are also with our heavenly Father, who has worked miracles in Somaia’s life.
Pretty international! When I visited Somaia and her mother at the ICU today, Somaia was busy learning the numbers but also in three different languages. While her mother was counting, Somaia always moved the corresponding fingers. In the photo, Somaia is obviously starting at zero!. The two have practiced this many times and meanwhile Somaia is really good at it. How nice to see them so eager!
The doctor told me Somaia was slowly making progress and had again been without a ventilator for a long time today. On the weekend, the doctors want to take Somaia for a little walk in the fresh air again. Thank the Lord for this progress. Even if in small steps, she keeps making progress.
Today, coworker Joanne and I visited Somaia and her mother at the Sheba Hospital ICU. It’s always very special to visit Somaia because there is always a good atmosphere in her room. The way her mother and, before that, her aunt communicated with her is certainly an important reason why Somaia is where she is today.
Whether it’s counting in Arabic and Hebrew, with Somaia flexing her tiny fingers, or constantly being appealed by her nickname, “Sim Sim”.
Today we watched pictures with Somaia’s mother that were taken shortly after Somaia’s birth. At that point, the chances of survival were not good. It is all the greater to see how God has led her on her hard path and that she has grown so much in the meantime. Praise be to the Lord!
Our cute girl keeps growing, playing and smiling in the ICU. She practices every day to get off the ventilator for a while and we pray that she will get better and better every day.
Her mom stays faithfully by her side, talks to her and cheers her up. It’s so wonderful to see how much she loves her daughter. I’m praying that the day will come where I see little Somaia out of the ICU and learning how to walk. Please God give our girl strength!
Today I was able to visit Somaia and her lovely mother at Sheba Hospital. Somaia was sleeping when I first entered her room.
After a few minutes, a doctor came in and removed her ventilation tube. Somaia woke up then, and she wasn’t very happy. The doctor told me that they’ve been giving Somaia some time off of the ventilator every day, and that hopefully with practice, she’ll be able to go longer and longer each time without ventilator support. Today she was off the ventilator for 40 minutes, and did quite well.
She’s also making progress in eating, and her mom was allowed to give her some small bites of jelly. God willing, someday Somaia will be able to eat solid food on her own. We have also noticed for some time now that Somaia’s eyes aren’t focusing correctly and are a bit crossed. Her mother told me that she needs to see an eye doctor sometime in the next days.
It was bittersweet today to say goodbye to Somaia’s mother, since I’m going home tomorrow and most likely won’t see her again. Somaia’s mother and I have had some good conversations, and today she and I were talking about prayer. She told me how Muslims wash their hands and face with water before praying. I responded by telling her about how Christians don’t have to do that because we are already washed by the blood of the Messiah. She was very curious about that, and asked several insightful questions.
Praise God that Somaia is doing so well, and for her mother’s interest in spiritual things. Please also be praying that some solution can be found for Somaia’s eye focus.
It is a nice day for Somaia because her mother has returned to Sheba Hospital. Somaia’s aunt left and went to her home in Gaza after spending some months with her niece at the hospital. This gave much-needed rest to Somaia’s mother.
In the time that Somaia’s aunt was in the hospital, we all loved her so much. She is the most happy person I have ever met. She took really good care of Somaia and she made many friends. She had a hard time saying goodbye. Especially to her best friend, another Arabic-speaking mother who stays in the hospital for a long time.
Somaia’s situation is unchanged. She practices every day to get off the ventilator. In the meantime, all are waiting to see if Somaia can go back to her home soon. It is a long and complicated process because of her medical support needs and other things that have created this situation.
Please pray for a solution and for the doctors at Sheba, that they keep fighting for this precious girl.
I got to visit beautiful Somaia at Sheba Hospital again today. She always brings a smile to my face and clearly I am not the only one.
Doctors are taking Somaia off the ventilator each day for 20 minutes to see how she is coping without it.
During these times, Somaia gets to go on her royal visits around the ICU in her stroller. All the doctors and nurses are always pleased to see Somaia and come over to say hello to her and receive the royal smile and wave.
The doctors tell me Somaia is doing very well and they hope to be able to build up her times off the ventilator. Please pray for continuing progress in Somaia’s condition so she can spend more time visiting her adoring fans.
I visited our beautiful Somaia again today, a day after her PEG tube procedure. She was awake and active playing with some soft colourful characters hanging on a rope just about her head. It is always so nice to see her smiley face and observe how she joyfully takes in everything around her.
Please pray for progress in Somaia situation and that the doors would open in an appropriate place for Somaia to receive suitable care.
At Sheba Hospital today, I visited our beautiful Somaia just as she was waking up from having a PEG (Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) feeding tube installed.
She was still a little groggy from the anesthetic, but still trying to smile and engage with those around her. The doctor told me the procedure had gone well and he expected Somaia to perk up tomorrow and be back to her smiley self.
I for one can’t wait to see her back to her joyful self.
Today I visited Somaia and her aunt at Sheba Hospital. I watched with much joy, all the loving attention and care that was lavished on our beautiful Somaia by the nurse and her aunt while they got her ready for my visit.
Somaia was cheerful and actively engaging with her surroundings. It was a joyful time spent with this gorgeous girl whose smile lights up the room.
Please pray that Somaia’s gradual progress will continue and that she will brighten others lives like she did mine today.
Today we brought Somaia a stroller! The doctors want her to learn to sit up, and to see things outside of the view from her hospital bed. When I brought Somaia’s aunt the stroller, she mentioned that Somaia is now nine months old! I was so surprised – already so big! But when I walked into her hospital room, it wasn’t so hard to believe. Somaia was sitting up against some pillows, smiling and sticking out her tongue at her aunt.
I was also surprised to see that her hair is getting long enough to be a bit curly – I didn’t know Somaia’s hair was curly! While I was visiting with her aunt, some doctors came in and fed Somaia some blue milk. The blue dye was to see if she was breathing in some of the milk, or if she was drinking properly. Somaia didn’t seem to want to drink – she kept opening her mouth in a wide smile instead of sucking on the bottle. But eventually she finished the bottle, and the doctors were pleasantly surprised that she hadn’t choked at all. However, since she is not drinking well on her own, they still want to place a PEG tube for her tomorrow.
Please be praying that this is the right decision for her. And praise God for His healing in her life so far! This was a long time coming for this little one to have come this far.
Somaia was so happy and joyful today. Most of the times I visit her she is not so interested that I’m there, but today she wanted to interact with me and play a little bit. Her wonderful aunt made her giggle the whole time with everything she said.
Coworkers Elise and Luisa were in the waiting area while I visited Somaia so I facetimed them to let them see our little girl’s beautiful smile. I am so thankful to being able to see how Somaia grows stronger and more active with every day.
Thank the Lord for this wonderful child and that he works in her life. Also pray for all her family so they can feel assured that their little girl is so happy.
When we visited Somaia today at Sheba Medical Center, we were a bit disappointed. After she had experienced so many ups and downs, we had hope that her condition could improve enough to allow her to be discharged.
In order to prepare her for a possible discharge, the doctors had reduced some of her medication. Unfortunately, her development then got worse again and the doctor explained to us that she is not optimistic that the discharge could happen soon.
Lord, please heal little Somaia. Just as you have been with her in the last few weeks, so be with her now.
Still under the care of Sheba Hospital’s Pediatric ICU medical staff, Somaia wasn’t really well this morning as her saturation levels suddenly fell dangerously, when the doctors there almost had to resuscitate her. The doctor I talked to told me that she was only one step away from resuscitation. They also told us that this actually happens often and that it has become quite normal in Somaia’s current condition.
When I visited them both, Somaia’s aunt and I just watched little Somaia for a bit. She was as normal as she can be and was moving her arms around a lot. She even grabbed my fingers, which brought a big smile on my face and her aunt’s.
Please pray for this little girl who has been in the ICU now for so long without much progress, fighting a battle that most baby girls aren’t asked to fight. We don’t know what God’s plan is for her and what will happen to her in the next weeks or months, but we can be sure that God loves her and knows what’s best for her.
We arrived at Sheba this morning to find the Aunt of Somaia sitting on the floor – face to face, comforting the mother of Lawik. It seemed like such a sacred moment to be present with the grief of Lawik’s mother and to witness this special ICU community in action. The Family House in Ashdod or Jerusalem have their own community dynamic, but these ICU families are sharing fears and celebrations, triumphs and tragedies in a way that no one else can really understand.
Later, at Somaia’s bedside, her Aunt clutched her heart to express her love for Lawik and his mother. She wrote on Google Translate – ‘We are loyal friends’. Somaia was comfortable in her room today – happy to make eye contact and to reach out to grasp extended fingers. She turns to every familiar sound from her aunt, but did turn to puzzle at the sound of this American man’s voice on the other side of her crib. Somaia is curious and bright, interested in as much as she can take in about the world around her.
No news from the medical team today. The nurse explained the long history and said they are just waiting for Somaia to have some improvement with her ventilator requirements before they are ever able to consider sending her home to Gaza. The nurse offered a sincere apology to say ‘I am sorry – she is stuck here for now.’ Somaia’s aunt was eager to hear of any word that they may be nearer to home, but was understanding of this news.
And so we wait – with prayers for all the families of this special ICU community who are feeling the emptiness of Lawik’s room tonight.
This morning Somaia was as lively as I have ever seen it. Even before I entered her room, I could see her wriggling her arms and legs. It was so nice spending time with her and making her smile. My hope grew so much today as I saw this six month old girl becoming more and more capable of acting as one. She grabs a lot of things and gets better and better at expressing what she likes and doesn’t like. During my visit a nurse stopped by who was very happy to see us trying to keep Somaia busy, trying to help her develop and encouraging her.
When I later asked a doctor about the effect of the antibiotics, she confirmed that it helps very well and that Somaia only has to take them for two to three more days. So the bacteria in her blood is diminishing, thank goodness. However, it is still not clear what will happen next with Somaia. She is still intubated and doesn’t appear to be going to be extubated anytime soon. Please pray with us and ask the Lord for a complete healing of this infection and that Somaia may continue to experience healing under his loving hand. He is a wonderful companion and is always at Somaia’s side. Let’s thank him for that!
When we entered Somaia’s room today at Sheba Hospital, we were so sad that her aunt wasn’t there. Later we found out that she feels sick and doesn’t want to be in Somaia’s room that often anymore so as to keep her safe.
Unfortunately Somaia was sleeping, but we prayed for her, told her how loved she is and that God takes care of her. A doctor discovered a bacteria in Somaia’s blood, so she is receiving antibiotics for that now.
Please pray for Somaia, that the antibiotics are effective against this bacteria and that her aunt feels better soon and can spend more time with her cute niece.
Today on our visits at Sheba Hospital, as always, we checked in on our sweet little Somaia! She was sleeping so restfully during the time we were there and you could tell that there was a heavenly presence of peace surrounding our precious girl!
The staff informed us they started reducing the pain medication and also the amount of sedative medication. They are understandably doing this little by little as to not let her experience any withdrawal effect. They have also now been able to change little Somaia’s feeding from a continuous state to being given in doses!
Our sweet Somaia is still hanging in there. She still is on normal ventilator support, but she is responding better.
Today coworker Tineke wrote: “I have never seen her so awake before. She follows with her eyes and reacts to sounds. It was very special to see this together with her aunt.”
Somaia’s aunt continues to be an encouragement to all of the other mothers and grandmothers in Sheba Hospital. The hospital would still like to discharge Somaia with her ventilator, but we still haven’t been able to find a good place for her to go to. Please pray that God will heal our lovely little girl, and that He will find a place for her.
Our little Somaia had been on high ventilator support for three days, but just last night they were able to take her off of the extra support. The doctor says that after she was having trouble breathing on Sunday, they had to put her on the stronger ventilator. She had to be sedated while she was on it, but today she is waking up. Now she is back to normal ventilator support. However, she is very tired, and isn’t responding normally. This is very hard for her aunt, who is with her, and also for her mother and the rest of her family who can’t be with her right now. Today her sweet aunt stood by the side of her bed, crying quietly and stroking her head while calling her “Soosu”, baby chick in Arabic. She really does remind me of a baby chick, helpless and adorable. Please pray that God will do a miracle of healing in our sweet little Somaia, and give encouragement to her aunt and the rest of her family.
She has been in Sheba Hospital for so long, and has continued to stay stable on her ventilator. However, recently she hasn’t even been trying to breath on her own. The doctors thought there was a possibility she was having seizures that stopped her from breathing.
Yesterday, they did an EEG to watch Somaia’s neurological function. The doctor said that she definitely isn’t having seizures, but that her brain function isn’t normal either.
This is some hard news to have on top of her already difficult condition, but the doctors hope that some more tests can help them figure out what is causing Somaia’s problems. She also has a bit of a fever today.
Please pray that God will work His healing in her fragile little body.
Today we visited sweet little Somaia and her aunt at the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Children’s Hospital. She was sleeping at the time we arrived but after a moment she opened her eyes and you can see that she is a little fighter.
The doctor informed us that her time post catheterization has been stable, but also that she most probably will have to stay on a ventilator for a long time.
We will continue to lift our sweet Somaia to the One for whom nothing is impossible!
Today Somaia had a last minute catheterization to try and find out what is causing some of her problems. The doctors at Sheba Hospital aren’t sure why she isn’t breathing very well anymore. She was very agitated after her catheterization, and we weren’t allowed to go into her room.
The doctors still don’t know what is causing her breathing problems, but they hope to do an electroencephalogram tomorrow (to measure electrical signals in her brain), in case there is a neurological explanation.
Please pray that the doctors will find out what’s going on, and they’ll discover some way to help her.
When we entered Somaia’s room in Sheba Hospital today, she was either crying or sleeping. We thought she just had a bad day but the doctor said that they reduced the medicine that calms her down and makes her relax. Therefore she would need a lot of emotional support, so, together with her aunt, we held her hands and tried to calm her down. Soon they will stop giving her clexane but she will get aspirin instead.
Please pray for little Somaia, that she can deal with the change in her medicine, and for her aunt, that she will get the strength to be there for her niece!
Somaia is doing well in her room in the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Hospital. She stared at me, and moved her tiny hand up and down, which was very cute.
There hasn’t been a decision made yet, as to whether Somaia will need to leave the hospital. The doctor mentioned that they wanted to have her here, since she would receive a better treatment here than in a Gaza hospital.
Let’s pray that our good Lord may lead hospital administrators to the best decision for Somaia, and that Somaia’s condition may get better, which is the best solution. Thank you for being with us in prayer.
When coworker Tatiana and I went to Sheba Hospital and entered Somaia’s room in the ICU, her aunt gave us a friendly welcome. She is currently there to stand in for Somaia’s mother who is in Gaza looking after her other children.
When I stroked Somaia’s hand, she tightly held onto my fingers – her aunt smiled. You can see immediately what a good team Somaia and her aunt are. Seeing them together gives hope that Somaia is persevering despite so many setbacks in the last weeks.
A nurse confirmed to us today that a decision has still not been made whether Somaia will have to leave Sheba. Please keep praying for Somaia’s recovery so she can stay for now. This is a very crucial moment because an premature discharge could be dangerous for her.
When we visited little Somaia today in the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Hospital, coworker Jakob and I were happy to see the sweet girl sleeping so peacefully. She was so calm but still intubated. The nurses told us that they try to extubate her every evening, but for now they haven’t been successful. The hospital administration said that Somaia can’t stay in the ICU for much longer without any improvement, but the alternative is sending her to Gaza still on the ventilator. Her chances of getting off the ventilator are better if they already try it at Sheba because the doctors know her whole history.
I visited her again a bit later when she was awake and I could see in her eyes how strong this little girl fights for her life.
We want to pray for further improvement so that the doctors are successful with the extubation. Please pray that Somaia can stay at Sheba Hospital for the time it takes to become extubated with stability.
For the last two months the doctors at Sheba Hospital tried several times to ween Somaia from the ventilator, but it didn’t work at all. Her condition is still the same, so the doctors told us that they will start the process of bringing her back to Gaza with the ventilator.
She and her mom have been now at Sheba Hospital for a long time. Because of her other children at home, Somaia’s Mom had to go back to Gaza today while her sister came to Sheba to look after Somaia. We will surely miss Somaia’s mom and how she cared for us volunteers.
Please pray for Somaia, that God keeps her in his hands and provides the best for her. Even as her mom leaves and goes back home, please pray for both of them.
Today coworker Petra and I visited Somaia in her Pediatric cardiac ICU of Sheba Hospital. She looked better than last week, the last time I saw her.
Today she was awake, and moved a lot. Her tracheostomy is helping her to breathe since her lungs are not strong enough to breathe on her own. Still she seemed to have some difficulty with breathing occasionally, twisting her face and turning it red. While I was patting her and praying in my heart, she stared at me sometimes.
Meanwhile, Somaia’s mom has shown her care to all of us volunteers. When coworkers Esther, Petra, and I were waiting for the surgery of another little girl, she offered us nuts, apples, pastries, and more.
Let’s pray that the Lord Almighty may reward this mother’s generosity with blessings, and that He may help tiny, precious Somaia to breathe smoothly, and keep her stable.
Our little Somaia is struggling again. This morning in Sheba Hospital, Somaia had an episode of low oxygen; her heart wasn’t working as it normally has been.
The doctors had to do some chest compressions to stabilize her again. They assume that those problems came because she is fighting against the ventilation.
For now she is stabilized, and the doctors hope this doesn’t happen again. Somaia’s mother was concerned about her, but she is still in good spirits as always. Please pray for little Somaia that she will improve!
Babysitting little Somaia at Sheba Hospital was a blessing this day, while her mother had her longed-for first visit to Jerusalem. When we first came to the I, Somaia was sleeping. But as we looked after her again later, she was laying awake in her bed.
The Sheba staff kept playing the TV with a kids show on, so that she would hear some voices and music. As coworker Johanna and I were standing beside her bed, she kept looking at us and kept following our every move with her eyes. Please pray for her because she really needs to grow and get stronger to make some progress.
When coworker Lucia and I visited Somaia at Sheba Medical today, she was awake and looking around. At one point, she started crying and this nearly broke my heart. To see this little girl wanting to cry, but there is no sound coming out of her tiny body is so hard to see. She wants to cry, to tell us that she is not okay, but she just can’t because of her tracheostomy. This reminded me so much of the verses in Proverbs 31, 8-9:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
All our little kids here don’t have a voice to speak for themselves and so we are called to fight for them. Sometimes this can be challenging, but it is worth it.
Thank you for joining us in fighting for these little ones! Thanks for your prayers for Somaia!
Our Somaia is still not only slowly improving. She is lying in the same ICU room, in the same bed for three months and is still so tiny. So often she improved and failed again and now for several weeks there is no big change.
Today the doctors wanted to give her another chance and tried to disconnect her from the ventilator for a while, but she couldn’t breath on her own. She doesn’t have enough strength for that.
I’m everyday new so amazed by her mother. She is the most welcoming and kindly caring person and makes all our hospital days much better. She has a big smile when she sees us and at the end of the day she walks with us to the car and waves us goodbye. She is such a good example how our joy shouldn’t be dependent on our circumstances but we should have deep joy every day in God. Because of what he did for us and how much he loves us, we can rejoice always.
Let us pray that exactly this Somaia will experience! That even though she has such a hard start in her young life she will smile again and rejoice!
Somaia’s mother was delighted today with the improvement she sees in her daughter’s condition. And her daughter appeared delighted with the presence of her mother, keeping her eyes fixed on her while she was held. Truly Mom is the best medicine!
Please pray that they’ll be able to stay together, despite pressure for the mother to return home to her 14 other children, and concern from Sheba’s financial managers about the costs of this lengthy hospital stay.
Somaia is still having to grow a little bit. The doctors at Sheba Hospital encouraged us to hold her and show her more love. They said that it would be very good for her to have more connection with people.
So today, when coworker Esther and I walked in Somaia’s room, we hugged her and gave her much attention. After that, we asked Somaia’s mother if we could pray for Somaia in the name of ‘Isa,’ which is the name of Jesus in Arabic. So she accepted, and while I was praying, I could not hold back and broke up in tears, which Somaia’s mum promptly dabbed dry with a tissue. I felt a strong connection with her.
We are looking forward to seeing Somaia get stronger. Please pray with us.
An X-ray was ordered for Somaia yesterday at Sheba Hospital. The doctors discovered from the X-ray reading, that Somaia has two fractures in her right leg. A previous test done a month ago, was to understand why Somaia’s bones are weak. Today’s X-ray was to determine Somaia’s progress, if there were any.
All the staff love Somaia and invest much effort in the care of her. They provided a little speaker with classical music and put it in her room.
Somaia’s doctor would like to extubate her, but that could take weeks or even months. For a baby like her to be in the ICU for that length of time could present risks, such as contracting a virus or infection.
Please pray for her protection during the length of her stay in the ICU and for answers concerning bone weakness.
Somaia’s mother has settled in to life at Sheba Hospital with a joyful spirit and is making the most of her time there. She’s always eager to welcome visitors, as well as sit with the mothers of children in surgery to support them and pray for them.
Somaia is still not ready to go into surgery and likely has a long road ahead of her, but her mother believes she is seeing improvement in her overall condition. So that’s hopeful news.
Thank you for your prayers for this little one. She’s struggling to come through this and it seems sometimes like victory is just around the corner.
Doctors today reported little change in Somaia’s condition, saying she is not yet ready to go back for surgery. But we found her newly-arrived mother full of joy and enthusiasm! She feels honored and affirmed to see all the care that has been poured out over the past three months on her beloved daughter by the people of Israel.
We pray for God’s continued work in the hearts of both Somaia and her mother.
Today was a big day for Somaia’s family. A long time prayer was answered, and Somaia’s grandmother was able to leave Sheba Hospital where she has been Somaia’s caregiver and was able to go home to Gaza, and Somaia’s mother was allowed to come in her stead, just in time for Eid this weekend. Somaia’s mother and grandmother were effusive in their joy. The excitement spread to the PICU staff as well, who had become close with Somaia’s grandmother. It is not often that smiles and laugher enter the PICU.
In addition to Somaia getting to be with her mother, she also had a successful catheterization procedure earlier this week that showed promising results for her future surgery. Now Somaia needs to continue to grow, so her surgery can happen safely. We pray that Somaia will sense the joy and love surrounding her and find the strength to keep growing!
Somaia will have a diagnostic catheterization tomorrow at Sheba Medical Center. She has a lot of problems and the doctors want to see how her heart is doing now. They want to look at the veins and the possibility of her having developed stenosis or other problems that can occur in her condition.
Please pray for God’s presence in this procedure. Somaia has been through a lot in her short life. It will be a long journey for her to be in a better condition. May God be with her.
When I visited Somaia today, she was awake and looking around. There was nobody in the room when I came in, so I stood next to Somaia patting her forehead and trying to play with her by showing her a rambling toy. I can’t believe how small she is, especially for a several month old baby. It is still hard to see this tiny baby laying in this bed day by day, waiting to grow.
Lord, please be with Somaia and give her love and peace. Put your hand upon her. I think of psalm 139:5: ‘You hem me in, behind and before, and lay yourhand upon me.’ We also ask for your prayer for Somaia’s grandmother.
I was shocked to see Somaia last time I visited her at Sheba Hospital. She was lying there with her eyes open but still, so lifeless. I was simply scared to come close to her with a sense of overwhelming helplessness, and took the picture and hurried out of the room. I then remembered the words of a sister in the Lord who said we shall be confident in the knowledge that just holding our hand on these little ones and softly whispering to them, can make a huge impact, and these words called to mind, encouraged me tremendously. I was determined to come closer to Somaia today.
Good thing that I had my coworker Margarita with me; she has powerful words of prayer inside of her. Margarita prayed in Spanish and I in Japanese, while each of us gently touched Somaia’s little feet. I’ll never forget what happened. Somaia opened and moved her eyes around, sucked the pacifier in her mouth and slightly moved her arms. I witnessed life. Lord, you knitted Somaia in her mother’s womb, and you breathed your breath into her nostrils. I pray that you pour out the greatest mercy on Somaia and revive this little life back to strength.
Little Somaia is doing worse again. Her doctor at Sheba Hospital told us today that she has jaundice and her stool is white. They will do some tests in the coming days to find out why. She is really not doing well and is looking very yellow. For her grandmother, this situation is very hard.
Lord you see this little girl, your beloved daughter, and I want to pray that you heal her. She is already so long in the hospital and your the only one who can change the situation. Please comfort also her grandmother who is such a loving person and cares so wonderful about Somaia and the other moms in the hospital!
When I visited Somaia today she was awake for a little bit. Her grandmother was sitting in the corner of the room reading in her prayer book and there was soft piano music playing at the head of Somaia’s bed. There is so far no change in Somaia’s condition. She gained a little bit of weight, but it goes slowly. Every time I visit her, I want to give her so much love, but I don’t know how. She is just laying there, everyday. Please keep praying for Somaia. Pray for weight gain, so she can learn to breathe on her own. And also pray that Somaia feels love from the people around her. ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.’
The doctor at Sheba Hospital told me today that Somaia has to grow. When she is bigger and stronger, she can be taken off the ventilator slowly. But for now, she is too weak and small for the doctors to take a next step forward.
Time is what will help Somaia. Her grandmother knows this and she already spend a lot of time in the hospital. She knows a lot of people there now and she is walking through the hospital talking to all the people she met.
She is a lovely woman who is always there for the other mothers. I sat in the waiting area several times with mothers during surgery or catheterizations, and Somaia’s grandmother is always there waiting with them and supporting them. May God bless her.
Today, coworker Doro and I went to Sheba Medical Center to visit little Somaia.
The doctor told us the very good news that Somaia is awake right now.
They also were able to take her off the ventilator for fifteen minutes. It’s not that much time, but she is still very weak and for her present condition, it is a huge progress. Doctors have also begun to start feeding her, and hope that there won’t be another build-up of fluid in her body.
Please pray for her, that she will continue progressing.
Today I visited little tiny Somaia in Sheba Children’s Hospital ICU and saw her for the first time with the tracheostomy. The doctors are reducing the medicine for Somaia, so that she will wake up. We will see then how she is doing. For now she is stable.
A physiotherapist trained Somaia’s legs and arms today. She explained to me that because Somaia was so puffy for a long time, she can’t move her very well.
Somaia has already had a very hard path behind her. But also her future will not be much easier. There is still a lot waiting for this little girl.
So, let’s pray for Somaia, that God will strengthen her.
At Sheba Hospital today, Somaia received a tracheostomy. It was quite a long process before it was done. There were a lot of doctors and nurses in her room for this procedure. It was interesting to see how the medical staff worked together as they were doing this procedure in the ICU. While I was visiting other children in the there, I could see what was going on with Somaia.
Somaia’s grandmother was worried today, but she took her rest and she spent time with other mothers from Gaza. She is trying to return to Gaza and allow Somaia’s mother to come as Somaia’s caregiver. Please pray for this process.
Thank you for your prayers for Somaia. She has been through a lot in her short life, but the Lord is watching over her and we know that He is with Somaia all the time.
Today I went to Sheba Medical Center to visit little Somaia and her lovely grandmother. The doctor said that Somaia will have a tracheostomy tomorrow; a hole in the base of the neck so the child can take in better oxygen.
The doctors hope Somaia can recover from the ventilation with the tracheostomy. Other than that, she is still very sick. So I want to ask you to pray for her and bless her and her grandmother.
When I visited Somaia this morning for the first time, she was still extubated, her grandmother was quite happy and a nurse told me that she is doing okay.
When I came back to the ICU later, I saw that there are a lot of doctors and nurses in the room with Somaia and her grandmother was standing outside crying. Later a doctor told me that Somaia was failing and they had to intubate her again. For now she is stable again.
Lord I pray that you bless this little girl and her grandmother! Please let her get better soon!
When I entered the ICU today and looked into Somaia’s room I saw surprisingly that she is extubated. So, I talked to a doctor who explained Somaia’s situation to me very frankly.
“Sometimes you have to give a child a chance, just by herself and see how she is doing.” In this, the doctor wasn’t very optimistic, but wanted to give it a chance. To keep Somaia intubated for so long has its costs. Her muscles are very weak and she already failed once after a previous extubation.
Ten minutes after today’s extubation, Somaia seemed to be okay, but we will see how she will improve in the next hours. If she fails again, the doctors will consider a tracheostomy for Somaia. Also, Somaia still has a lot of fluid in her chest. The doctors don’t know why yet.
I stood a while at Somaia’s bed to pray for her and talk with her. I could hear her breathing, trying to get enough air.
Please pray a lot for Somaia. She needs it right now to be able to breathe on her own. For now she still gets help by oxygen support.
After the weekend, our little Somaia is stable again. Thank you Lord! She still has some arteries that are blocked so doctors are starting a new medication today to clear the obstructions in her blood vessels.
For her grandmother, it is really hard to be in the hospital and see her beloved grandchild suffering so much. She wasn’t in a good mood today.
Please pray for the two of them, that God may comfort them and that the new medication will help Somaia!
Today, coworker Tatiana and I visited Somaia and her grandmother again at Sheba Hospital. Somaia is not stable. After her long balloon catherization to widen an artery yesterday, she isn’t doing much better.
The doctor explained to me that this was the last thing they could do for Somaia. Now it depends on her, if she will improve or not. We can only wait and see what happens. At least Somaia’s leg stopped bleeding.
So, this little girl needs our prayer now especially. Only God can raise her up. Somaia’s grandmother remains patiently at her side and also cried for all Somaia has to suffer.
Little Somaia went today into a long cath at Sheba Hospital to open up an artery which was clogged. This is much better now than before.
When she was back in her room, I saw a lot of doctors and nurses in there because her leg bleeding heavily. One nurse had to push the leg at this place because it wouldn’t stop. When we left the hospital, Somaia was still bleeding.
Today, coworker Frank and I also took measures for trying to get Somaia’s dad to the hospital. Somaia’s grandmother is very tired of all the weeks in the hospital and just wants to go home, so she asked for a replacement.
I really could see this grandmother’s pain. Especially because another child, little Adam, died in the hospital today, and Somaia’s grandmother has come to know these mothers and relatives in hospital and feels their sadness, especially the sadness of Adam’s aunt. In the end, she also hugged me tightly.
Please pray for Somaia’s grandmother. Because of the death of Adam, there is much more tension in the air. Especially because also Somaia is not doing very well. This child and grandmother need our prayers.
Somaia is stable in the ICU at Sheba Medical Center. The doctors found out that she has pleural effusion, which means fluid in the lungs area. This is also the reason why she is still intubated.
Tomorrow Somaia will go into a cath, to see how the pleural effusion can be treated. Please pray for this cath, the doctors and Somaia. She really needs a lot of prayer.
Somaia’s grandmother is very tired and exhausted. So long already, she stand faithfully by Somaia’s side and it didn’t get very much better so far. Please pray for comfort, patience and love for her and that Somaia will finally improve.
Today, I visited little Somaia and her grandmother. When I stand next to Somaia I was really shocked. She didn’t look good or really alive. The doctor said that she is so sick, but also they can’t ween her off ventilation. Soon, they will do a cath for her to find out what could be the reason.
I was standing a while at the bed of Somaia to talk to her and to promise her that there are people who love her and that God loves her so much. This girl doesn’t need only better health but also love! Somaia is in Gods loving hands and we can trust him that he will make it good however.
Please pray for Somaia, her family and grandmother and her doctors. They all need strength, wisdom and love.
Today my Coworker Frank and I visited Somaia at Sheba Medical center. Unfortunately Somaia is very sick. She has an infection and a lot of fluid in her body.The doctors told us that they have to give her time to recover right now, then they can think about further treatment.
Lord, I want to pray for blessing for Somaia and her lovely grandmother, a very strong and sweet woman. Please also pray that Somaia will come through this somehow, with God’s help.
Somaia is slowly improving and the doctors at Sheba Medical are stabilizing her. Finally the doctors could also change Somaia’s central line, which was a big issue today. She now has a new line in her leg, to get medicine directly to the heart.
Still, she will need some time to recover, and the doctors will wait a week before they try to extubate her again. For now, she is doing okay.
Somaia’s grandmother is very tired, but still stays patiently at her granddaughter’s side. Please pray for Somaia. She needs a lot of prayer.
“Somaia is very, very sick,” was the first sentence the doctor at Sheba Hospital said to coworker Hanna today. Over the weekend Somaia had to be reintubated and now she also has an infection of sepsis. She is receiving antibiotics and needs a lot of medication. Tomorrow the doctors try to set a new centerline.
Last week we thought Somaia was finally getting better and now things are getting worse again. Somaia’s grandmother is so tired of the whole situation and very worried about her grandchild. Please pray for strength and patience for her.
And little Somaia needs also a lot of prayer to get better. God can restore her health.
This weekend, doctors at Sheba Hospital had to re-intubate little Somaia again after they could finally extubate her last week. Since she is now reintubated, and is slowly making progress, she will still need to stay at least three full days on the ventilator. Also she is not eating because she is not able to digest right now.
I did not meet Somaia’s grandmother today, but it has to be very frustrating for her that her girl is again not doing well after already such a long time in the hospital! Please pray for cute Somaia; that she is improving soon!
Today at Sheba Hospital, we heard very good news on Somaia. She is extubated and doing well so far. That’s amazing, if we remember the whole time she’s been already in the hospital with struggles and an open chest for a long time. And now she can breathe on her own.
We can thank God for this. Somaia’s grandmother is thankful, but also very tired of the time in the hospital.
Please pray for Somaia, that she will recover fully! And also for new strength for her grandmother.
Today coworker Frank and I visited little Somaia and her lovely grandmother at Sheba Hospital. Somaia’s grandmother is very patient about everything, especially considering Somaia is still not extubated because she is not waking up enough. Doctors are hoping she will be awake enough in the next few days and they will try extubation again.
Somaia also has been found to have some problems with her liver, but doctors are working to help this. Let’s pray for Somaia, that she wakes sufficiently to enable the next attempt at her extubation.
Today coworker Hanna and I went to Sheba Medical Center and visited Somaia. The doctors there told us that she is doing ok since she has her pacemaker and they want to try to wake her up in the next few days.
I’m very happy that she is doing better, thank the Lord. Please keep continuing praying for her further treatment and recovery.
Today coworker Willem and I visited little Somaia in Sheba Hospital’s Pediatric ICU. The doctors finally closed Somaia’s chest. For now she is doing well, but they have to see how it goes. So especially the next hours are important.
We talked a little bit with her grandmother. She said that she has pain in her leg and lower back. Please keep her in your prayers, and for Somaia’s condition to remain stable and for her healing.
In the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Hospital, Somaia is not doing worse, but she is also not improving very much. Her chest needs to stay open. Sometimes they take out some fluids. This weekend she received a temporary pacemaker to help her heart a little bit, and over the weekend she needed less support from the pacemaker, which was a good sign.
Please pray for Somaia. It is hard to see a child struggling so and not making much progress. We praise the Lord for all the little steps that Somaia makes. Also pray for her grandmother who sits by her side every day.
This morning the blood pressure of Somaia went down. Doctors at Sheba Hospital gave her medications for the low blood pressure. During the day, her blood pressure went up again.
Also, Somaia again has fluid in her chest, so the doctors cleared that out today as well.
We ask for your prayer for Somaia. She is not getting worse, but also not better yet. Her grandmother is worried about her. It is nice that there are a lot of other Gaza mothers and grandmothers that she can be with and talk to. It is nice to see how these mothers and grandmothers always support each other and frequently share meals together.
This morning, the doctors at Sheba Hospital took Somaia into the operating room to try to close her chest. Unfortunately, she did not respond well so they reopened her chest before bringing her back to her room.
Somaia’s situation is very complicated. Her doctor explained to me that she now has an infection in her chest and is receiving antibiotics to treat it. Her grandmother was very disappointed that the surgery today was unsuccessful. Please pray for Somaia, and Somaia’s grandmother.
Today, I visited little Somaia and her grandmother at Sheba Hospital. Somaia needs a lot of time to recover. She is now on antibiotics and the doctors need to clean out the chest area which remains open; she also still has fluid around her lungs.
Somaia’s grandmother is thankful for every bit of ground Somaia gains. The other mothers and grandmothers in the hospital comfort her and they have a nice dinner together in the evening during the time of Ramadan.
Please pray for Somaia, that she can finally recover and for the doctors to have wisdom for what to do next in her treatment.
Somaia is doing quite well after her surgery at Sheba Hospital on Thursday and she is quite stable. But she still has a lot of fluid around her lungs and that’s why doctors still couldn’t close her chest.
When I visited Somaia today, her grandma was sitting in Somaia’s room and crying. The situation for her and the whole family is everything but easy. To see her beloved grandchild lying there and knowing that she can’t do anything for her has to be so hard. But still she is very grateful for all the doctors at Sheba and that they are doing everything they can for Somaia.
I asked if I could pray for her and Somaia and she said yes, with gratitude. It is so good to know that you all and so many other people around this world are joining me in prayer for the healing of Somaia!
As I visited Somaia and her grandmother at Sheba Hospital today, one doctor explained to me that Somaia will go into surgery today in the afternoon. She has fluid in her chest, so the surgeons have to clean out the chest area.
We learned that the surgery went well and she is stabilized, thank God.
On Sunday, we will see how she is doing. Until then, we’re thankful that everything went well in the surgery and Somaia is stable.
In Sheba Hospital yesterday, Somaia was improving. But today she is struggling and the doctors don’t know why. They have to find out in the next days what the problem is.
Somaia’s chest is still open, they might close it on Sunday. Today, Somaia’s grandmother came to me crying, because she saw the nurses working on the open chest. She also feels that something isn’t alright.
Please join in prayer for Somaia, so the doctors may find the problem and can help. And also pray for her grandmother.
Today, coworker Joanne and I went to Sheba Medical Center to visit Somaia.
After her surgery yesterday, she’s doing quite well. Right now her chest is still open because the doctors are still discussing her further treatment and it could be possible that she will have another surgery soon.
After her surgery yesterday in Sheba Hospital, doctors were not able to stabilize Somaia’s blood pressure, which was dangerously low. This morning, they took her into another surgery to tighten the bands they placed on her arteries yesterday in the hopes that this will correct the problem.
After the surgery, Somaia had a CT scan. The doctors will use the results of this to decide whether she needs another surgery. For now, her chest is still open from today’s surgery in case she needs to go back into the operating room again this week.
Pray for good results from the CT and a good recovery for Somaia.
Little Somaia had a surgery this morning at Sheba Children’s Hospital, to treat her heart defect. When I visited her and her grandmother, the attending nurse said Somaia is not quite stable yet.
Somaia’s doctor later explained that the surgery was successful and both the surgeon and the cardiologist were pleased with the results. Overall, Somaia is doing well, but her blood pressure is low and the doctors are not sure why. However, they are confident that for now she is alright.
Time was running out for newborn Somaia, on a ventilator in the Gaza Strip and requiring emergency heart surgery. Without a specialist ICU doctor to escort her, no ambulance service was willing to bring her to the advanced medical care in Israel.
Thank God that Dr. Ahmed from Haifa’s Rambam Hospital today left his work early, stabilized Somaia at the Gaza crossing point, and safely shepherded her to the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. She’s now stable and undergoing assessment in preparation for surgery at the start of next week.