The day had finally come for Omar’s surgery! After coming to Israel and finding out he had a virus that delayed the operation, his mum has been anticipating his Glenn procedure for a week and a half. For most of the day, his mum was with the other mother’s in hospital from Gaza, and this is a blessing because they form a supportive community for one another, and go through their children’s heart surgery as a group rather than alone. At one point Omar’s mom, Reem’s mom, Nyaz’s mum, Musa’s father and another mum from Gaza who didn’t come to Sheba through Shevet, were all congregated in the sitting area outside the ICU. They were talking and laughing; I found the level of comfort they found in one another beautiful.
In the last hour before the end of Omar’s surgery, his mum started to get agitated and nervous as it had been a long time since they took him into the operating room. But thankfully a nurse came out and told her the surgery was done, but she still needed to wait. And her joy was shared by Tara and I and also Reem’s mum. The rule is that once the child is taken out of the operating theater to their hospital room, it take about thirty minutes to stabilize them, and for this duration the parents are asked to stay in the waiting room. And while Omar’s mum didn’t actually enter his room while they were stabilizing him, she did get as close as possible to see her son, before going back to the waiting area. She is soft spoken and gentle, but incredibly fierce when it comes to Omar. So tonight we thank God for a successful surgery, and that Omar’s mum can rest knowing her son has had the surgery he needs.