It’s been just over a month since sweet one-year-old Lara arrived from Kurdistan and was rushed to the emergency room at Sheba hospital with oxygen saturations in the 40s. She’s made a beautiful and mostly smooth recovery, but after last week’s news that she has some narrowing near one of her valves, her mother has spent an anxious week awaiting this week’s echo.
This morning—which happens to be Lara’s mom’s birthday– we made the trip to Sheba hospital where, after an echo and ECG, we sat awaiting the doctor’s decision. When he finally called us into his office, he asked Lara’s mom, “So you want to go home?”
“You get your gift,” he replied with a smile. “You can take her home. Happy birthday!”
The last five weeks with Lara and her mother have been such a beautiful gift. Lara has come a long way in a short time; the bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked toddler enjoying a celebratory ice cream cone at the hospital today bears little resemblance to the blue-tinged baby we drove to the emergency room a month ago.
One-year-old Yad from Kurdistan had surgery on Sunday afternoon to repair his combination of heart defects. Praise God, the surgery went without complications and Yad is making a quick recovery. He gave the doctors a bit of a challenge in the days following his operation, as even with heavy sedation he was active and trying to remove his own tubes and IVs. He’s now breathing and eating on his own, and Joanne today found him already moved from the ICU to the pediatric ward, where the doctors expect he will need to spend only a day or two. We’re looking forward to having this sweet little guy back in our house in Ashdod:
Pray also for baby Somaia from Gaza, who is still in the ICU at Sheba hospital five weeks after her tracheostomy procedure. As you can see in this video, she is opening her eyes and becoming aware of her surroundings:
Two-month-old Brwa from Kurdistan has made another big step in his long recovery after surgery to switch his great arteries. After being disconnected from the ventilator last week, Brwa made so much progress this week that he has been moved out of the ICU and into the regular pediatric ward!
Please continue in prayer for baby Liya from Gaza, whose surgery was delayed this week due to a fever. She was discharged from Sheba hospital on Monday afternoon and went home to Gaza, where she was supposed to wait two weeks before coming back for her much-needed surgery.
Handsome little Sohaib from a Yazidi refugee family in Kurdistan was discharged from Sheba hospital on Monday after his surgery last week:
Two-year-old Syrian Amina’s doctor had good news for us after her echo on Sunday. The fluid in Amina’s chest is finally gone and her heart is doing well. One of the side effects of the steroid used to treat the fluid buildup was an effect on Amina’s mood, so now that she doesn’t have to take it anymore, she has cheered up quite a bit and we are finally getting to know her a little better:
Meanwhile in our Ashdod home, four-year-old Hussein and his mother are patiently awaiting his next post-surgical echo in a week and a half. They have faced quite a few long waits in their time here, and Hussein’s mother has been incredibly patient and understanding through the whole process.
Time and time again we are struck by the patience and sacrifice of these mothers and grandmothers. Leaving behind their husbands, other children, jobs, and countless other concerns, they spend months far away from home, each for the sake of one precious child. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and love to do what each of these women does.
This morning in our staff meeting, we read Matthew 16, where Jesus warns his disciples against putting human concerns before the concerns of God. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
This is no small calling. It led us to a powerful and challenging question: what are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of the concerns of God? What earthly treasures and concerns will we lay aside in order to serve our Lord? Perhaps it is a question impossible to truly answer until we are called upon to act. When those moments come, it is our prayer for our community that we will act with the same love, selflessness, and courage as the mothers we are blessed to share life with.
Thank you for joining us in prayer,
Bria for Shevet Achim