After a beautiful farewell party yesterday evening, we had to say goodbye to our little boy Ahmed and his mother today. She was waiting a week with us here after Ahmed was discharged from the hospital as she didn’t want to fly home alone and so we were happy to send her home with two other kurdish moms today.
The one thing that everyone recognized as very special was his smile. I’ll never forget how he was still so happy and smiling even in the night when coworker Bria and I had to bring him to the ER and he wasn’t doing well. It’s also amazing to see where he got his personality from: his mother is as joyful and happy as he is.
Always a smile in her face and joking with us she made us laugh very often. We’ll miss both of them a lot and at the same time we are so happy for them to finally go home to their family as Ahmed’s mom was missing her other kids a lot.
She was probably the mom who was the most excited to go home that I ever met as she was dancing and singing in the car all the way to the airport.
Ahmed is healed and probably won’t need surgery anymore in his life and to see this after the night where his oxygen dropped is so amazing and gives so much hope. Thank you for praying faithfully for Ahmed and his mom! And thank you for praying for their time back home now!
Ahmed’s mom has been eagerly (and nervously) anticipating today since Ahmed’s last echo a couple of weeks ago. “Inshallah Ahmed basha,” — “God willing, Ahmed is good”– she told me hopefully as we got in the car to head to Sheba Hospital for Ahmed’s second post-op echo appointment.
Ahmed, as always, was the happiest little guy for the whole time at the hospital.
He stayed busy playing with the cars in the waiting room while his mother prayed fervently.
When the doctor arrived to check out Ahmed’s echo images,
his report was brief but exciting: “He’s good, he can go home!”
At this, Ahmed’s mom burst into tears of joy. “Thank you, doctor, and thanks to God,” she kept saying in Kurdish.
It will be another few days before Ahmed and his mom fly home, so we are looking forward to spending one last weekend with them in our community home in Ashdod before a special farewell party to send them off.
Our happy Ahmed is doing very well. Today, he made friends with another child staying with us for a few days. Ahmed enjoyed being pushed around in his new baby walker, and playing a game where he would stretch out his arm and his friend would pretend to fall down.
In about a week, Ahmed will have another check-up echo at Sheba Hospital. If everything still looks good, he could be discharged to Kurdistan.
Praise God for our sweet boy’s wonderful recovery! Please pray that he will be able to go home soon.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of celebrating Ahmed’s second birthday together with him, his mom and some other families in our Ashdod community home.
Ahmed enjoyed his party and was smiling a lot even though he was very tired. He is such a cute little boy and we are enjoying our time with him in the house very much.
As Ahmed had some bradycardia after his surgery, he had a Holter test two days ago. Today we took him to Sheba Hospital for an echo and ECG where we learned that the results from his Holter test are very good and there are no concerns regarding this.
In the echo, his doctor could see that Ahmed still has a little hole between his two ventricles and his pulmonary valve is a little narrowed and leaking a little bit. This is normal for a child in his condition who had surgery so late in his life. For now everything is okay, Ahmed is doing very well and his doctor doesn’t think that he will need another surgery to fix those problems in the future. He will have another echo and a blood test in two weeks however, and if everything looks fine then, his doctor hopes to discharge him to Kurdistan.
In the meantime we are happy to spend some more time with him and his mom in our house and thank you for praying for smiling Ahmed. Trusting he will stay safe!
This morning we took Ahmed real quick to Sheba Hospital to get his Holter test. It is like an ECG, but for a longer time and so after they put the stickers on him, and installed the Holter test, he was already finished.
Tomorrow morning we will remove the test and bring it back to the hospital.
Next week during his echo, we will learn about the results of the Holter. Ahmed was of course smiling a lot in his time in the hospital and didn’t mind at all that his mother waited for a while with the mother of another Kurdish child who was in surgery today.
Today was a big day for little Ahmed as he was finally discharged from Sheba Hospital! When we entered his room this noon, his mother was so looking forward to getting back to our community home in Ashdod. Before leaving the hospital, the doctors had to remove the last connected wires and wait for a short while to make sure that Ahmed was well.
While waiting, we played and danced a bit with him and got his mom some fries. Finally the doctors said that everything is okay and we packed all their things together to leave.
We were all so happy and shared the joy of Ahmed’s mother when we stepped outside to get in the Shevet van. We‘re so glad there was barely any traffic while driving home to Ashdod so we got there in no time and could celebrate the happy reunion with the other families.
It was such a great day and we thank the Lord so much for that. We trust him that he will keep Ahmed safe and take care of his recovery!
Ahmed looked so good today when we visited him in Sheba Hospital today. He doesn’t need oxygen support anymore and has recovered very well so far. His mother and the doctor both told us that he is doing well and he seemed happy during our visit.
Praise the Lord for Ahmed’s recovery so far. We pray he will improve day by day and grow to be a healthy little boy.
Today at Sheba Hospital, we found our little Ahmed smiling as usual and his mom feeding him.
Ahmed’s hospital room is always a happy place, knowing he is having a good recovery time since his surgery last week. The doctors still want to have an eye on him because of his complex and combined heart defects.
Ahmed is always a good living example of what we’re told to do in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Keep praying that joy and good health will remain and come to Ahmed, and for God’s mercy.
Adorable Ahmed is doing very well. He is already extubated after his surgery at Sheba Hospital, and awake. His mom showed us some adorable videos of him smiling and saying his favorite sound, “Ba! Ba!”
Please pray that this handsome little boy will continue to recover well, and that his sweet mother will be encouraged by his good health.
Early this morning, I found Ahmed and his mother in the secondary ICU at Sheba hospital, awake and anxiously awaiting the doctors’ arrival to take Ahmed into surgery.
At 7:30, the doctors and nurses began to arrive– first the nurse to prepare Ahmed for transport, then the surgeon to explain the surgery to his mother, then in the surgery prep room, the anesthesiologists. Ahmed’s mother was nervous but calm for the whole process, and all the while she held Ahmed’s hands or stroked his hair and murmured words of love to him. Finally, with a kiss and a wave from his mama, Ahmed was wheeled into the operating room.
Ahmed’s mother and I waited together outside the operating room for four hours. It was a challenging few hours for her; she showed me photos and videos of Ahmed from his time in the hospital and told me in Kurdish, “I’m so worried for him, he’s alone in there without his mom or dad.”
We were joined for most of the wait by two or three of the mothers from Gaza, as well as 11-year-old Lewan from Kurdistan and her mother, who were a great support to Ahmed’s mom. “Don’t cry, let’s just pray for Ahmed,” Lewan encouraged her.
After just over four hours, one of the mothers from Gaza burst out of the ICU with a huge grin and the head surgeon in tow. “Kwayyis!” she said with a thumbs up– Arabic for “good!”
Sure enough, the surgeon brought the news that Ahmed’s surgery was finished and everything was okay. There were no complications in the procedure and Ahmed is doing well.
We had to wait some time for the surgeons to finish up in the OR and for Ahmed to be moved back to the ICU, but after such good news from the doctor, Ahmed’s mom was much more relaxed. She showed me the photos and videos again, but this time with a smile. “He’s so beautiful, isn’t he?” she said proudly in Kurdish.
Ahmed is stable and recovering well after the operation, thank God. Please pray for a smooth recovery for him.
Today the doctors at Sheba Medical Center decided that Ahmed will have surgery on Wednesday.
As do many kids with Down Syndrome, Ahmed has a complete AV canal, which means that the chambers of his heart are connected. As well, he has Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a complex combination of four heart defects. Also, as he is already a bit older, he is suffering from the complications of his Tetralogy of Fallot and this is why his oxygen saturation keeps being fairly low. Because of all of this, the doctors decided to have the surgery this week.
It is such a joy to see Ahmed smiling at us. He was crying a bit today when the Nurse had to change his oxygen cannula, but as soon as he sat up and saw me and coworker Yukako, he was smiling again.
Please pray for Ahmed that he will have a successful surgery and will recover quickly.
When I went this afternoon to our family home to just spend some time with our friends there, I took Ahmed in my arms and he was smiling and happy as always. But as soon as I looked at his hands, I was a little shocked at how blue they were. I usually don’t have him so often in my arms, so I wasn’t sure if this was normal for him and decided to check his oxygen just to be safe.
At this point, I was shocked for the second time, because it was around 20% lower than what is normal for him. I talked to his mom who also confirmed that he looks more blue today, so it didn’t take us long to decide to bring him directly to the Sheba Hospital Pediatric ER. There they checked his saturation and started to give him oxygen support.
The medical staff first thought that maybe Ahmed had such low saturations because he is dehydrated and they gave him fluid through an IV. Even with all this support, his oxygen dropped sometimes to 50 and when they once tried to remove the support for a short time, it went frighteningly low. After a long waiting time while they watched Ahmed, they finally decided to admit him so that they can keep giving him support and watching him.
For his mom, this whole situation wasn’t easy as no one at the hospital speaks her language and she didn’t know what was happening with Ahmed. What helped her and all of us, were the smiles of Ahmed who was probably the most happy child that I ever brought to the ER.
When I look back, I’m just amazed how God was working in this situation. Usually I take another baby in my arms when I go to our family house, but as that child was sleeping I decided to pick up Ahmed. Only through this and because God gave me the right thoughts in the right moments, was Ahmed brought to the hospital before his oxygen dropped lower and maybe had left irreversible damage to his brain.
We need God’s help in our work here so much. It was a hard day as at the same time Ahmed was in the ER, a young man from Gaza went from our house in Ashdod into emergency surgery and died. Good and bad is so close together and while Ahmed was saved, another man lost his life. And still we want to thank God in all of this, in the good and in the hard things. Thank you for all you did today God! Thank you for working in us! Please bless and protect Ahmed and his mom, please heal Ahmed!
Ahmed is with us in our community house in Ashdod for more than one week now. He has become accustomed to the new environment very quickly. He is always happy, smiles a lot and sends kisses to us volunteers.
Today, Ahmed has been for the first time to the beach with us. This was an adventure for little Ahmed. He unfortunately did not really like the beach – it seems like he was a little bit afraid of the sand and the water. But sitting in his stroller – in his safe place – he was the happy and the smiley Ahmed that we used to know.
We are still waiting for a medical update from the doctors about the next steps Ahmed will take. Let us pray for Ahmed, his mom and the whole time they are spending with us.
Sweet Ahmed had his first evaluation at Sheba hospital this morning, including three echoes, an ECG, and an x-ray. His cardiologist wanted to be sure to get lots of good images from the echo, as the first assessment will inform all his treatment, so the process took quite some time. This was no problem for Ahmed, who was happy as long as he could hold his mama’s hand.
Ahmed has Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four heart defects that can usually be repaired in one or two surgeries. Additionally, like many children with Down Syndrome, he has a complete AV canal, a connection between all four chambers of his heart.
His cardiologist will present his case at the doctors’ meeting on Sunday and they will discuss the next steps for him.
It was a long day for Ahmed, but he stayed busy exploring his new surroundings. The mirror in the elevator was of particular interest to him, as were the toy cars in the waiting room. “Chend jwana!” his mom exclaimed with a big smile when she put him in the driver’s seat– Kurdish for “how beautiful!” Indeed, Ahmed is a beautiful little boy with the sweetest smile. Please pray for him and his mother as they await the next steps.