The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. – Job 1:21
After a long and hard fight, Laith has been relieved of all his suffering at 20:10 today. The Lord has taken him back to his home in heaven. God, please bless him, his family and the doctors who gave their best for Laith’s life.
In the last few weeks, including the surgeries, hopes and fears, we have always been aware of how serious little Laith’s condition was. Nevertheless, we were stunned when a doctor told us this morning that his way was now coming to an end. He explained further that they had tried all their available options, but Laith’s body was not responding to the treatment. Now they would have decided to give Laith the appropriate medication to relieve his pain. His death was a matter of hours and only God knew when exactly it would happen.
Those next several hours I spent with Laith’s father. I still cannot understand where he got all his strength from during the time of waiting that followed. That he communicated warmly with children in the waiting area and continued to praise the Lord all the time, deserves great respect.
This evening, as we were standing by little Laith’s bedside in the ICU, he kept stroking his son’s hand, which was turning black from the lack of oxygen. On the displays we could see Laith’s organs stop working and alarm sounds signaled that Laith was now dying.
It’s terrible to see a child dying in front of his father. For the past few weeks, Laith’s father has stayed by his side faithfully and did everything that could be done. Now he has to let him go away.
Sometimes we can’t understand God’s plans and it seems just unfair that Laith is denied his life. Nevertheless, we can trust in God’s grace and love. He has a plan for Laith – albeit not on this earth.
Please pray for Laith’s wonderful family who fought so faithfully for him. God bless the parents and his two older siblings who lost their little brother today. Accompany them in this difficult time and put people by their side who are a blessing to them. Amen!
Just a big white warming blanket. That’s what we saw when we entered Laith’s room in Sheba Hospital today. His fragile body was covered under this blanket to keep him warm. His body temperature was very low even though they try everything to make him comfortable. When asking the doctors about his situation they could only tell me they’ve done everything they can, but some of his organs are slowly failing. In his surgery yesterday they were able to close his chest.
Laith needs our prayers more than ever. Ask the Lord for healing for Laith in these uncertain times. Pray that God will take his pain away and bless his family with resilience.
At Sheba Hospital’s Pediatric ICU today, I was able to visit Laith and even spend some time with him in his room. It was hard to see him with all the tubes and his chest just covered by a transparent membrane.
Even though he is off the ECMO, he still struggles with many things. The nurse told me his kidneys are not doing well and I could see that his little fingertips turned black. She explained to me that this happens because there isn’t enough oxygen delivered through his blood. Again, Laith is off ECMO, but there are many different problems that the doctors are worrying about.
There is so much power in prayer as we read in Matthew 21:22, ”And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.“
Let’s pray for Laith in his critical condition that God will bless him with good health and strength. Also pray for his father that is with him at Sheba right now.
While doing some appointments with other children in Sheba Hospital, we heard the news that Laith had severe bleeding and had to go into emergency surgery. The surgeons were able to stop the bleeding but he is in a very critical condition. After his complicated surgery yesterday, they are supporting him with all things possible, but he is not stable most of the time.
We were able to take a look at him from outside his room, and it was almost impossible to spot him underneath all those wires from the supporting machines.
Prayer can change situations where we don’t see any hope. Pray for Laith’s recovery and that the Lord will hold his merciful hands over him.
Many hours of trembling and hoping
Written by Bria and Jakob
A long fight lay ahead for the doctors when Laith’s surgery started at 8am this morning at Sheba Children’s Hospital. It really wasn’t easy for his father – after the surgery was originally scheduled for yesterday, he had prepared himself mentally, until the surgery was postponed to today at the last second.
Again and again, he called his family to pass on what leaked out from the doctors. It wasn’t much though, so all we could do was to hope and pray. The surgery lasted a full 7 ½ hours, during which we tried to distract ourselves by learning some arabic. Nevertheless, Laith’s dad’s tension was obvious.
Then finally the doctor came into the waiting room and put an end to the wait. The development of the surgery was one of ups and downs. The goal of the surgery was to widen the pulmonary outflow tract in Laith’s heart, allowing more blood flow to the lungs. After succeeding in this, the doctors took a big step: disconnecting Laith from the cardiac bypass machine. They were surprised and excited to see that he did very well without it– for the first time in one and a half weeks, Laith’s heart was working on its own!
However, when the surgeons closed his chest, Laith’s blood pressure crashed and his chest had to be reopened right away. They reclosed it again with a membrane. During this process, they discovered that Laith’s central catheter, which is supposed to carry medications straight to his heart, was out of place, so for these last days he has not been receiving all his meds. The doctors placed a new catheter, but Laith’s cardiac function deteriorated rapidly and he had to be resuscitated. The surgeons opened his chest once again and returned him to ECMO support.
Laith is now back in the ICU with an open chest and still on ECMO. However, we are glad that the doctors discovered the reason he has not improved. Now that he is finally receiving the correct medications, we pray Laith’s condition will improve.
When I was at Sheba Medical Center with three other coworkers this morning, we received the unexpected news that Laith, who has had a very difficult few weeks behind him, is scheduled for surgery today.
I kept going from the waiting room to the Pediatric ICU with his father again and again to ask how things were going. It was a tense atmosphere because we knew how serious the situation was.
Later it turned out that the operation will be shifted to tomorrow. So the wait doesn’t come to an end as yet, and we continue praying for God’s help. May God also bless Laith’s father who faithfully stands by his child’s side.
Still critical but stable
After a rough night in the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Hospital, doctors were able to support Laith with a central line catheter. They had to leave his surgical site open after his surgery yesterday so that they could intervene faster if he crashes. Just covered with a sterile cloth, Laith rested and recovered in this big bed surrounded by machines supporting him. Laith’s doctors were able to stabilize him through the central line catheter, but he is still in a critical condition.
Lord we pray for young Laith and his situation. You see how unstable his condition is and that there are so many people worrying about him. Give him the strength he needs for this difficult time. Bless his doctors with wisdom and give strength to his family. We pray that you heal little Laith.
CT scan today; assessments
Yesterday, one month old Laith was transferred from Hebron to Sheba Hospital. When we visited the Pediatric ICU on Floor 4, no one really knew anything about this new child. While we were visiting some other Shevet children, we saw that little Laith was being rushed out of his room to get a CT scan which will help doctors to gather information about Laith’s condition. They also have the assumption that Laith suffers from some kind of liver damage, but a series of tests has to be made in the next few days to get the information about that.
After some time Laith was returned to his room so coworkers Tatiana, Luisa and I visited him. We met his father who was really kind and even though he didn’t understand English, his knowledge of Hebrew made it easier for the doctors to communicate with him.
The next few days will be very stressful for little Laith because there are going to be many tests conducted to get the necessary information about his condition. We want to pray for him and his father that they feel cared for at Sheba Hospital. Pray for the doctors that work on his treatment plan and all the tests that have to be done. Let us think of this beautiful little boy the next time we pray.
Finding our way to the Palestinian Authority-run hospital in Hebron was not easy to do. The hospital’s neo-natal unit was packed full of premature babies, and this is where we found little Laith.
We had his files printed out and took them with us to get them to doctors in Sheba Hospital who requested complete information on Laith. Then on Saturday afternoon, the ambulance transfer took place.
Laith is now in the Pediatric ICU of Sheba Children’s Hospital.
Thanking Sheba Hospital for its open doors and concern for the lives of every child no matter what, even on Shabbat.