Khonav and her mother arrived in Israel this morning, traveling from Kurdistan with another child, Halbast, and his mother. They were escorted from Kurdistan by our Shevet head nurse Colin, as we were concerned that both of these children might need oxygen given during the flight and could become unstable during their journey here.
I woke up to Colin calling me, saying that they had arrived and Khonav’s oxygen saturations had dropped dangerously low, so the airport doctor in Israel wanted to call an ambulance and transfer her immediately to Sheba ER. Co-worker Jana and I got up quickly as we realised a second car was needed to bring Halbast home, releasing Julio to translate for Khonav at the hospital.
The updates kept coming from Colin: “Her saturation has dropped to 40%”… “she’s improving, she’s stabilizing…” “the airport has not called an ambulance….”. Thank God that we don’t have to do any of these things in our own strength, but only we are joining in with what God has already laid out before us!
So, after we met them, Julio and I took Khonav to the emergency room of the hospital. Khonav is 14 years old, and very beautiful. She was very tired during the time I was with her today, and her whole body looks blue. Her main diagnosis is Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of different structural heart defects. In addition to this, her body has developed some additional blood vessels to help provide oxygen to her body. She has never had any surgery before, and isn’t on any medication. Her normal oxygen saturation is around 60-75%. It seems a miracle that she has lived this long with a heart with so many complex problems.
Today we observed the problems of her heart condition in the ER. As her blood was drawn for the test, we were stunned by the colour of it; almost black, and very thick. Khonav was put on IV fluids to help hydrate her and improve her oxygen, however after one bag had infused, her oxygen saturations were as low as 30%.
Her mother was strong throughout the difficult day, despite her tiredness. I loved to see how she was caring for Khonav, and was able to be in a good spirit. We also received news from the mums back at our home, that they were waiting to welcome them, and wishing Khonav well.
We were able to bring her home after many hours in the ER. She will return to the hospital for her “official” first assessment on Wednesday, and hopefully to be admitted for a diagnostic catheterisation. Please pray for Khonav, that she will settle in well to our home, and that she and her mum will feel loved and welcome. Please also pray for her safety and healing of her heart in God’s timing and under his perfect care.