She is stuck here. I am sorry.

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.