I was in the train back home from my day off when I got a call from Daveen’s mother: Daveen is coughing a lot and has trouble breathing.
She already had a little cough the days before, so I first thought it’s probably no big thing, but I called Joanne to go check on her. And indeed, Daveen wasn’t only having trouble breathing but also her oxygen saturation was lower than normal. Joanne left the pulse oximeter a while on her and soon the numbers dropped further. Once they reached the 70s Joanne and Dr. Hison decided it best to call an ambulance, and Daveen was soon receiving oxygen and on the way to Sheba Medical Center with Joanne and her mother in the ambulance.
Thank God, a few hours before Daveen was rushed to the ER her fellow Kurdish patient Nozhdar was admitted for his heart surgery the next morning. Their moms are already good friends and could support each other in this difficult time. Nozhdar’s mother was allowed to carry her boy to the OR yesterday morning and wait with him until he fell asleep, and then came outside, directly hugged me and started crying. Her little boy was just at the beginning of his open-heart surgery and she was worried. What if he will not do well or will never come out again?
But after only three hours the surgeon came out to say the surgery is finished and everything went well! Spas bo xwa! – thank God! – was all the mom said to me and hugged me again when I translated the surgeon’s report. “Thank you” she said to the surgeon in English and I realized once again how much all the medical stuff is doing for our kids. Without them we wouldn’t be able to help a single one.
Thank God for a successful catheterization today for seven-year-old Naim from Gaza, in preparation for his third cardiac surgery. First doctors will also perform a procedure to return his abdominal organs inside his belly, as he was born with them in an external sac:
In Jerusalem our little Hala is waiting a little longer before going home to Gaza. She is slowly gaining weight now and eating little by little on her own – the doctors want to give her lungs a little bit more time to recover from her pneumonia – but they think they can send her home Sunday to her young waiting mother:
Here in Ashdod we enjoy the time with our families. Today at lunchtime when we started praying little Kurdish Lya also wanted to cover her head like we big girls do, so she shared a scarf with two other mothers:
This was also the hope for one-year-old Miran when he went for an echo this week. But his doctor found that increasing his medicine hadn’t helped enough, and Miran will need a second cath or maybe even surgery. We hope to hear soon about their decision.
On Wednesday our Assyrian boy Sarjon had his CT scan and neurology check to clear him for heart surgery, which is now scheduled for Monday. His mom is getting nervous but is also happy the surgery will be soon.
Now-ten-year-old Shahad returned from Gaza this week, after we haven’t seen her for more than three years. She has extreme arythmia and was directly admitted to the ICU for tests:
Our good friend Liya from Gaza was admitted for a cath this Wednesday, but because she was sick and has low oxygen saturations her doctors decided to better wait until next week to do her diagnostic cath. Please pray for her and her mother as this is already the second time her cath was postponed:
After trying twice by bronchoscopy last week, doctors did a CT scan for him yesterday and then took him into surgery today to remove his tracheostomy. But he came out a bit later and Lena reported that the tissue in his throat is too hard to repair. Instead they want to do a bigger surgery in half a year. For now Saif is fine, praise the Lord, but there is still a long and challenging way ahead of him.
The third Gaza child, Mohammed B, was discharged on Monday only five days after his valve replacement. He still was pretty weak and couldn’t walk very far, and when we brought him to the Erez crossing we were again surprised how many people are supporting our work and helping us. First an Arab man who we meet frequently at Erez convinced the security guard to allow us to drive with our van inside the gate directly in front of the building. Then we asked the people working in the security check if they could organize a wheel chair for Mohammed, and soon they brought one and we said goodbye to him and his mother knowing they were in good hands there:
And on Wednesday morning Joanne picked up beloved Bria at the airport, who also came back from vacation with her family.
Those doctors and nurses who care so wonderful for our kids and surprised me more than once this week with their kindness – the surgeons that stand hours and hours in the OR to repair complicated hearts – people at Erez who help our kids coming home safely – brothers and sisters everywhere who pray for us and donate for our little ones – and so many more people that we don’t even recognize.
As we are finishing our study of Proverbs we read as a community chapter 30 verse 5 this morning: Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Behind us are a couple of challenging weeks, and probably there are still a couple of challenging weeks ahead of us – but in all this we need to remember that he and his word are our shield, if we just run to him. We saw that this week in all those people supporting us, and we trust that he will also provide financially because he has promised it: And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Messiah Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
And with this knowledge we want to thank you for fighting with us in the new year for all the little ones!
Doro for Shevet Achim