Welcome to Israel!

Syrian refugee Mohammed arrived to Hadassah Hospital today with his mother, after the lengthy trip from Jordan.

Mohammed, his mother, and transporter/facilitator Dale  met our Shevet team at the Jordan/Israeli border.  After a quick check to ensure that he was stable…. then paperwork, waiting, fee-paying, passport-stamping, and multiple conversations and explanations, guided by our experienced staffer Suhail… we escorted the trio from their taxi, through the border, into the bus, and finally settled in the Shevet van for the 2+ hour drive to Hadassah.

Mohammed was definitely NOT a fan of the car seat, but mom managed to calm him by breastfeeding, even with him in the car seat. By the time we arrived at the hospital, all three exhausted travelers had taken a nap!

With thin little arms, legs, and trunk, Mohammed’s body seems younger,  while his deep brown huge eyes reflect a wisdom much older than his 16 months.  His whole body moves when he breathes, trying to oxygenate his little body despite his overworked heart.

Admission to the ICU at Hadassah was a lengthy process that threatened to overwhelm both mom and Mohammed.  They made it through all the questions, initial exams, lab draw, and vital sign checks.  Finally, two bananas (one to eat and one to play with!) and a small xylophone toy brought the tentative smiles we had been waiting to see all day.

Please pray for Mohammed,  as he undergoes more cardiac testing such as an echocardiogram today, and a cardiac catheterization soon.  The results of this catheterization will tell the medical team if Mohammed can have surgery to close his three heart defects.   Also pray for his newly-pregnant mom, as she faces this emotionally- difficult second opinion— to see if her only son is eligible for life saving surgery.

As you can see in these pictures, mom has experienced a range of emotions today; hope, fear, tenderness, anticipation, exhaustion.  She readily accepted our prayers in the ICU room before we left her in the hands of he Hadassah ICU team.