Seven of the nine Iraqi children who’ve waited for so long are now with us in Israel! Six of the most urgent, who all need correction of transposition of the great arteries, already have had first evaluations at the Sheba Medical Center:
Ayan had his appointment on Wednesday, and his mother was wonderful as he struggled through the long echo.
Lava was seen by doctors on Wednesday and her surgery plan will be discussed further by the doctors.
Hadeel arrived with her father on Tuesday and like Lava, the next day had her first appointment!
These days are very long for these small babies who go through a full echo study, a blood test, and an x-ray; it gives their parents a good idea of the layout of the hospital and how things work there.
All of the children above are 1-3 months beyond the optimal timing for the surgery to switch their great arteries. Please pray for them and their doctors, and for the one other transposition baby Sulaiman who is still waiting in Jordan for permission to enter Israel after the interior ministry apparently lost his file:
Meanwhile our beautiful Lia from Kurdistan (below) had a successful surgery on Tuesday. It was one of the quickest surgeries at just about three hours!
Please pray for a route to open for them to return to Kurdistan. Asmeen will still need to be in a hospital in Kurdistan, but God willing it will be better for her mother to care for her in their own country with her family nearby.
Dear Salwa came back to Jaffa on Wednesday, after a long and very difficult recovery after surgery. We thank God for her life and ask Him for her future as well. It is a miracle she is with us:
The medical team worked on her all through the night Tuesday to put her back on the ECMO device which supports the work of the heart and lungs. For a few hours they worked to make her just stable enough to move from the ICU to the operating room two floors down. Her mother watched through the glass doors with two other Kurdish parents by her side; she was taken out of the ICU when the doctors needed to start chest compressions to resuscitate Haveen. When they were finally able to take her into surgery, even with the ECMO her heart was not functioning. Haveen died in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a few days past her first birthday. Maybe it will suffice to say that the joy Haveen had while she was alive is proportionate now to the grief of those who loved her in her death.
They brought her body back to her room so her mother could have some time to say goodbye. Her mother looked at her and mourned for her eyes that would not open again and her mouth that would never smile again. That seems irreconcilable with this sweet girl, so full of adventure and joy when she was alive. As we stood in that room the reality before us was death–the absence of life.
Words will never do justice to what happened in the night on Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning. It would just read like a sequence of events, not the collapse of someone’s world. The families in Jaffa (the ones who are not in quarantine) along with Sabrina and Georgia came outside to receive Haveen’s mother when we came home that morning, and they sat down and wept on the steps with her. A collective grief shared by all.
Today we brought Haveen’s mother and the mother of Dalal, who are best friends, to Jerusalem as the families staying here also wanted to spend time with Haveen’s mother. They went to pray on the Temple Mount and out to the bazaar, and we ate dinner together. It was a beautiful time and beautiful to see Haveen’s mother smile again (below center in flowered dress).
When she was brought to her room, I couldn’t see past the fact that she was gone and not coming back to this life. In those moments when death is just before you, maybe the resurrection, with all its power, is at the same time a candle which burns persistently and stubbornly against the hovering darkness.
We mourn the deaths of Haveen and also of Ghena, who died on Saturday, and returned home to Gaza in her grandmother’s arms only on Tuesday morning after the fighting there had stopped. Please pray for these families.
May God bless you,
Alena for Shevet Achim