Yesterday evening my coworker Joanne and I went to Sheba Hospital to be with Yano’s mother. The doctors did not see any im-provement in Yano’s condition, and saw no possibility for weaning her off ECMO support.
When we arrived, we sat with Yano’s mother in the Pediatric ICU for awhile. It was then that she told us she wanted Yano removed from ECMO support. It was too hard for her to be watching her fingers and feet turn black, to know what would come even with so much support for Yano’s body.
We stayed the night with Yano’s mother. The doctors had a meeting at eight to make the decision of removing Yano off the ECMO. The night and morning were filled with many tears and prayers.
The depth of grief Yano’s mother must be feeling is beyond my comprehension, all I could offer was my hand to hold.
Yano was removed from the ECMO in mid-afternoon with Jonathan by her side.
The mother of Yano is such a beautiful, strong, and loving woman. Yano was so much like her in appearance and heart. It is a comfort to know that Yano is now safe in the loving embrace of God.
Please be praying for comfort and strength for the mother and family through this time.
Yano’s condition is not improving and the doctors don’t think there is any opportunity to remove Yano from the ECMO machine.
These past few days have been very hard on Yano’s mother. Please be praying for comfort and peace during the coming days. We are praying for a miracle, but no matter what may come, we have an assurance.
This afternoon, the doctor in the ICU explained to Yano’s mother and me that after a week on the ECMO machine, Yano is not doing significantly better as the doctors had hoped. He reiterated that the chances of survival on the ECMO are always 50/50, and asked me to tell Yano’s mother that the surgeons, cardiologists, and nurses are all doing their best for Yano.
It’s difficult to imagine what the last week has felt like for Yano’s mother. After the doctor spoke with us this afternoon, I watched her kiss her daughter’s fingers, which are slowly turning a dark purple after a week on the ECMO, tuck the blanket gently around her, and whisper prayers over her bed.
Later, surrounded by other mothers of children in the ICU, one of the other moms hugged Yano’s mother close and repeated again and again, “fi yad Allah, habibti”– in God’s hands, my love. Indeed, Yano’s life is and always will be in the hands of a God who loves her more than we can comprehend.
In this faith, please join us in continued prayer for beautiful Yano and her family.
Yano is stable today; her mother was faithfully praying by her bedside this morning. It’s hard to depict the emotional, physical, and psychological toll that having a child this ill takes on a parent. Over the weekend, one of the other Kurdish parents in the hospital called to say that Yano’s mother was really struggling, so between Friday and Saturday a few of our coworkers went to be with her.
Supporting her is a group effort, between the Kurdish mother calling to say that Yano’s mother wasn’t doing well, to the Kurdish mothers at our community house discussing what food she liked best and then cooking it for us to take to the hospital, and an older Kurdish mother accompanying us to the hospital on Saturday afternoon, we have all come to be around Yano’s mother.
We appreciate your prayers going into this week. Tomorrow, doctors may do a trial of disconnecting Yano from the ECMO to see how her heart functions without it.
At the hospital today, one of the mothers was encouraging her with the stories of children who got better after the ECMO machine and when she looked at me to verify this, I named for her the children from these past months. Salwa, Sulaiman, and Mohammed B. Those lives are testimonies and hope for a future for Yano.
Today coworker Sabrina and I visited Yano and her mother again at Sheba hospital in the pediatric ICU. The doctor told us that nothing changed with her condition, but that the heart rhythm is different and that they will adapt the machines.
When we came in the room, Yano’s mom looked very tired and her attitude was very weak. She sat next to Yano’s bed the whole night, walked only a bit through the room and slept for one hour. Also she explained to us, that she cried a lot.
Sabrina brought her some Nescafé and she ate a bit. After that, you could see that she felt better and sometimes she even smiled at us. It’s a very hard time for her and I’m very glad that we know that God is control and he is the one who can give strength in this incomprehensible situation.
In her second day at Sheba hospital in the pediatric ICU, and on ECMO, doctors started Yano on a new medication to help her heart function; we will see if this helps her improve as there has not been improvement yet. Coworkers Jonathan and Michelle visited her today, and were able to translate this for Yano’s mother.
Later in the day, coworker Bria and I went with Yano’s mum to walk outside. We got coffee and smoothies and sat in the coffee shop. She asked if there were other children on the ECMO who lived afterwards. For me it was deeply meaningful to be able to say that yes, I know from experience of three Kurdish children who have lived after being weaned off of life support.
As we walked to the shopping area, she said that when Yano wakes up, she will buy her anything she wants from here: stuffed animals, toys, chips, whatever her girl wants, she will have.
The absence of Yano’s joyful and vibrant presence is palpable, and no one feels it more acutely than her mother. Please be praying as always for this beautiful girl to come back to us.
Yano had to be taken into the OR at Sheba Medical again today, due to fluid in her right lung, which was drained. When Yano was put on ECMO after surgery yesterday, three cannulas to the heart were placed. One became blocked with a blood clot and was removed today. The procedure to drain lung fluid and remove the blocked cannula took around three hours and was thankfully successful. Yano was taken back into the ICU after exiting the OR.
Yano is still at high risk and has arrhythmias that slowly stabilize. Her heart is still very weak, she will be on ECMO for at least another three to four days.
Yano’s mother was really calm during the surgery and also cried a bit. She is a wonderful mother and always so proud of her cute, smart Yano, but it was a really difficult waiting time for her because she didn’t know what the outcome would be for Yano. When I looked at her, this caring mother looked so sad and exhausted; I was glad when she ate something. I can just guess how she must feel, but I’m not the mother.
Please continue to pray for her that she might be able to know that God already knows the outcome of the whole situation and that he gives peace and strength in our difficult times. Your prayers for the precious little life of Yano are much needed and appreciated.
Yano had her surgery today at Sheba Medical Center. It was a very complicated one and it took nine hours.
After the nine hours, the surgeon came out and explained that the surgery was successful, but Yano’s heart is very weak. They put her on the ECMO machine and she will be on it for a few days.
After the surgery, doctors took Yano in for a catheterization to see if the coronary arteries were wide enough and they were! That is a good sign. Now we have to wait for a couple of days to see how Yano is progressing. The surgeon said that he has good hope for her.
Yano’s mother started the day okay. But after nine hours, she couldn’t handle things so well anymore. And also because the news was not what she expected, so it hit her hard.
Please pray a good recovery for Yano. Praise God that the surgeons were able to do what they had to do and that there is now hope for her. Also pray for her mother who is having a hard time after this surgery.
Yano was asleep today as the anesthesia wore off from her CT scan. I loved to see the mermaid doll next to her; Yano is a special girl, exceedingly kind for her young age and with a very sharp mind.
Her mum has asked for prayer this evening as tomorrow Yano is scheduled to have her cardiac surgery, the second step, known as the Fontan, which will complete the work of her first surgery from 2017. Doctors will also be repairing her mitral valve.
This is a big procedure, so please pray with us for Yano and alongside her beautiful mother. God knows what tomorrow will bring, and while we don’t know, we can pray that,
“whatever may pass and whatever lies before, let me be singing when the evening comes.”
This morning I went to Sheba hospital to visit lively Yano who was having to fast before her catheterization, yet was still asking me to sing Old McDonald for her.
When Yano went in for the catheterization, her mother was very nervous, but handled the time waiting through prayer.
Thankfully everything went well and it was a successful diagnostic catheterization. The doctors are planning out the next steps for a Fontan procedure. It would be a potentially high-risk surgery for her, so prayers going forward for wisdom for the doctors, and protection for Yano are appreciated.
Sweet Yano was admitted to Sheba hospital today for a catheterization tomorrow.
Yano is small but she has a big personality! After her ECG, she carefully took all the stickers off herself rather than allowing the nurse to do it. Later, she politely requested a gift from the nurse in return for undergoing a blood test.
Yano is full of infectious joy and is friends with everyone she meets. She was excited to receive a new dress from Danit at the hospital today. It was a long day of tests and waiting, but Yano’s endless energy and abundant joy made it truly enjoyable.
Please pray for a successful cath for Yano tomorrow.
For the past few days, Yano has been throwing-up in the evenings, yet recovering well and eating during the days.
We were monitoring her vitals and her energy and she was stable. Today we decided to take her to Sheba hospital’s ER since the sickness has persisted.
Upon arrival, they put Yano on oxygen, and monitored her vitals. During this time, Yano was given plenty of fun things to keep her occupied. They later did some blood tests, and an X-Ray. After a few hours in the ER, the doctor informed us that all of the tests were good, and we were able to return to Jaffa.
Yano was having pain near one of her molar teeth. We were able to take her to the dentist today to get her checked out. They were unable to do x-rays on her teeth as she has a strong gag reflex.
They did the assessment on her mouth and decided she needed extensive work that would need to be done under general anesthesia. The general anesthesia waiting list is long, but it could be that Yano gets called earlier if some other patient cancels.
As a result she will need to fast after midnight from this Sunday-Wednesday from 12am-8am in hopes of being called in sooner. She is having pain at this tooth’s site in her mouth so please pray that she will be able to have this procedure soon.
Yano is such an amazing little girl. It’s been a joy to walk alongside her and her mom since they arrived here. She is such a calm patient and full of joy. We love her.
We still await her cardiac catheterization and subsequent surgery.
I picked up Yano and her mom today from our Jerusalem Guest house for Yano’s assessment at Sheba hospital.
In the beginning, everything went very quick and easy. We didn’t wait long for the echo and Yano was very calm. I’ve never seen a child so relaxed during the assessment at the hospital. Usually the children are crying, but Yano was very uncomplicated.
Yano and her mother were patient while waiting to speak with the doctor and I played with Yano at the playground in the waiting area.
After some tests, including a blood test and an x-ray, we talked with the doctor again and he suggest a catheterization for little Yano.
We will get to know the specific date for the cath in the next days.
After the long day, we were happy to have this information and went back to Jerusalem, where Yano and her mother are staying currently.
Last night I had the opportunity to meet the very active and smart Yano and her beautiful mother for the first time since their arrival here in Israel. Yano had to come to the Sheba hospital ER because her oxygen saturation was very low, around 50% and she had a cough.
The doctor sent Yano to the adult building for an X-ray because it was evening and the pediatric X-ray was closed in the children’s ER. After the X-ray, Yano was examined.
Results indicated Yano’s heart appears larger than it should be, and her overall heart condition is worsening. Yano’s cough is improving however and her oxygen saturation varied upward between 50-80%. According to Yano’s mother, Yano’s oxygen fluctuation is normal for her and behaves this way also in Kurdistan, characteristically unstable but they still manage. Therefore it was decided not to keep Yano in the hospital, thank God, but that Yano and her mom could go back to Jerusalem for the time being; they’ll finish their quarantine requirements.
Yano’s first appointment to see the cardiologist will be in the next few days. While we were waiting to be seen by the ER doctor, it was a nice waiting time to spend together with both Yano and her mom. They have a lovely relationship and Yano is a very smart girl. The doctor loved Yano already, they’re friends now.
Please pray that Yano remains in a good condition for her time in Jerusalem. I’m looking forward to spending more time with lovely Yano and her mother and to get to know them more.
Yesterday, co-worker Bria and I went to Ben Gurion airport to welcome Dea and her mother and Yano and her mother, both mothers and daughters having traveled all the way from Kurdistan. Their visas were going to expire, so we had to bring them now even though Dea’s surgery may take some time still.
Teresa, the escorting nurse, arrived on time to Sulaymaniyah, in the north of Iraq, to be able to fly with them and bring them to Israel safely; we thank God for His perfect timing in everything.
Yano and her mother, on left above, are quarantining now in our Jerusalem guesthouse. Theresa is quarantining with them as well, hopefully they can be out in a week just in time to have their first assessments at Sheba hospital.
Yano’s mom is excited about being in Jerusalem and we hope it will be a big blessing to them as they now wait for their procedures.