During the ambulance trip to Sheba Medical Center, Habiba started to deteriorate, and needed to be brought urgently to the first hospital outside of the Gaza border. They stopped at a hospital in Ashkelon, where the pediatric cardiac staff treated her until they deemed her stable enough to transport the rest of the way to Sheba Medical.
Habiba and her mother arrived at Sheba and were brought to the neonatal ICU, but within a few hours this beautiful nine day-old-baby passed away.
Today Colin and I met her mother right outside the doors of the Sheba infant ward. As we received this woman who seemed to bear the weight of the world on her shoulders, it struck both of us that all around us were families wheeling their newborns out of the ward and extended families coming to meet their grandchildren for the first time.
Habiba’s mum’s eyes were clouded with disbelief. Nine days of life and now no more. After obtaining the necessary papers, we drove to the morgue to bring her body back to Gaza. She was in a blanket inside a box small enough to hold shoes.
Please pray for her and for the authorities which decide the quarantine, if they may be stirred by mercy to shorten her quarantine term or make some allowances or forego it all together. Whatever happens, Lord, we pray you would be with her. May the hope of the resurrection be hers through our Messiah. For the words that the angels at the tomb of Jesus spoke to the women, those words are for Habiba as well. Though her body lies in Jerusalem, “she is not there, she has risen.”