The second heart surgery of our beloved Liya from Gaza was abruptly abandoned at the Sheba Medical Center today, when doctors discovered that a hole in one of her arteries had allowed air bubbles to enter her circulatory system and travel to her brain. To prevent brain damage or death she was rushed to another hospital for emergency hyperbaric oxygen therapy. At this hour she’s still in the oxygen chamber, with her mother and Elise waiting outside:
Pray also for one-year-old Ayham from Gaza, who had a difficult adjustment after banding surgery this morning at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Doctors are attempting to retrain his left ventricle in preparation for a late arterial switch surgery.
Monday evening as we brought a couple of Gaza children back to the border crossing, we found an ambulance waiting outside. Knowing that Jonathan had spent the day coordinating transport to Sheba Medical Center for a newborn with transposition of the great arteries, we stopped to speak with the mother waiting inside. Sure enough, the ambulance was waiting to bring tiny Masa to Sheba, but was delayed at the border and still not allowed to leave.
Masa arrived at Sheba later that evening, just barely in time. The medical team in the ICU found that her body temperature was only 32°C/89.6°F. Within a few hours her heart function had deteriorated so severely that the doctors had to put her on ECMO heart/lung support:
Monday was also an exciting day for two-year-old Dahen from Kurdistan, who had his final echo at Hadassah first thing in the morning:
We’re grateful for God’s faithfulness and goodness to our good Assyrian friend Sarjon from Iraq, who is also cleared to return home after just one post-surgical check-up!
Hoping to join them for the flight home are two-year-old Nozhdar and his mom. Following his surgery last month, Nozhdar struggled with significant fluid buildup around his heart, but this has cleared up completely after a couple weeks of medication and his last echos showed that he’s doing great!
After over three months in Israel, our handsome little friend Arya is finally getting close to going home. His first surgical follow up echo looks great and his cardiologist doesn’t see any cause for concern. He wants to see Arya again in a few weeks to make sure everything is good before sending him home.
Sweet baby Sila from Gaza was discharged from Sheba hospital on Sunday, just nine days after the emergency surgery to repair her severely narrowed aorta. Her mom, a physiotherapist, is taking such good care of her and helping her learn how to drink milk with massages and exercises.
Last but not least, beautiful Maryam from Gaza was pretty in pink for her long-awaited journey home on Monday evening:
I’d like to leave you with these words of Paul from Philippians 4, which we read as a community this morning. In a week of such ups and downs, they resonated deeply with us and I hope they will for you as well:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Messiah be with your spirit. Amen.
Bria for Shevet Achim