On Monday morning, little Lawik from Kurdistan was wheeled into the operating room for his second surgery, the big operation to switch his transposed great arteries. His heart function was still weak and his blood pressure not quite as stable as the doctors would have liked, but it was becoming dangerous to delay the surgery any longer. After seven hours in the OR, Lawik was brought back to the ICU on the ECMO heart-lung support machine:
After a couple of hours waiting, Lawik’s mom went into the ICU to ask a doctor how things were going in the OR. She returned a minute later with a big smile. “Hey, my baby is okay!”
The surgeons found a large blood clot in Lawik’s pulmonary artery, and after removing it, already saw some slight improvement in his heart function. His mother was overjoyed and thanked each and every doctor and nurse in sight. “You’re working so hard for my baby!”
Sweet Hazhin from Kurdistan had a difficult weekend after her banding surgery. Her blood pressure was unstable for a couple of days and when her kidneys stopped functioning normally, the doctors started her on peritoneal dialysis. She is now improving a little at a time and her doctors are monitoring her heart function carefully to decide when to do her arterial switch surgery:
This week brought a long-awaited day for our beautiful Malak from Gaza and her mother. After three months in the hospital and multiple surgeries and catheterizations, Malak left Sheba hospital for Gaza on Tuesday afternoon:
Nine-month-old Maryam also made the journey back to Gaza last night. She had a video fluoroscopy on Tuesday morning, a video x-ray to examine her ability to swallow. For now, she will continue feeding through her PEG tube with the help of a feeding pump.
On Monday morning, our three little guys who arrived from Kurdistan last week had their first echoes at Sheba hospital. Three-year-old San seemed to enjoy the entire process and made friends with everyone he met. San has a VSD, a hole between the lower chambers of his heart, and his cardiologist is not yet sure whether he will need surgery or just an interventional catheterization:
We welcomed another new arrival from Kurdistan this week, four-year-old Lya. She was born with a developmental disorder that often causes heart defects and hearing impairment. Her pulmonary valve is severely narrowed, but her cardiologist expects that this can be treated with an interventional cath and that surgery will not be needed:
Our handsome Ahmad from Gaza returned to Sheba this week for a catheterization. Ahmad is a cheerful little guy, and enjoyed his time getting to know coworker Craig:
Next in line for a cath was little Mohammed A.S., who was admitted to Sheba on Monday after a weekend at home in the West Bank. He’s been having some trouble breathing, and his mom was relieved to bring him back to the hospital:
Jamal from Gaza is getting close to going home. He has been moved to the pediatric ward as his heart function is good. He started a new medication this week to regulate the neurological challenges he’s had since surgery and the doctors are monitoring his progress. They hope to discharge him to Gaza as soon as next week:
Meanwhile at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem newborn Tala from Gaza has come a long way since last week, and returned home to Gaza at the end of the week. She’s been breathing on her own for a few days now:
It’s been quite a busy week around here, and while we’re all looking forward to what looks like a quieter week coming up, we’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of each of these children’s journeys.
As a community this morning, we reflected on the ways in which we, as bearers of the image of God, can mirror his sacrificial love for us. Every act of selflessness, every choice to act in love for another person with no expectation of reward or acknowledgment is a tiny, imperfect reflection of the abundant unconditional love of the Messiah. What a beautiful gift it is to be allowed in even the smallest ways to imitate the character and love of our Savior!
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another,
God lives in us and his love is made complete in us…
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4
May we fulfill this calling with all our hearts.
Thank you for joining us in prayer,
Bria for Shevet Achim