Today we could welcome Fatoum to Israel because a Neurology appointment at Sheba Hospital was on her schedule. First, the doctor asked many questions about her current situation. Her mother reported that Fatoum repeatedly had problems walking or climbing stairs and that she had a limp. Then the doctor did some tests on Fatoum. Among other things, he let Fatoum draw something. It was a fantastic task because Fatoum is very passionate about drawing. When the task was already over, Fatoum took a pencil case from her small backpack and completed her picture with colors. You can see the result in the photo.
Following the tests, the doctor reported that they showed generally good results. He believes that the limp originally came from the 2017 surgery. It came back because of her surgery a few weeks ago. Now a physical therapist will be required to treat it. Fatoum will visit him in Gaza and with his help, the problem will be solved, God willing.
In the evening we drove back to the Gaza border and took a quick break at the pharmacy where Fatoum got chewing gum as a reward for her patience today. God bless the physical therapist who will be treating our dear Fatoum.
This morning was a very welcome visit for an echo at Sheba Hospital from lovely Fatoum. Last time I visited Fatoum, she was very homesick for her friends and she missed school. So today was only for a check, which she was very glad about. So an ECG and an Echo were the order of the day. Delays at Erez crossing this morning had made us late, so the doctor had left and wouldn’t be able to see us until later in the day, but Fatoum faced this timely setback well by practicing her driving in the waiting area.
Our beautiful Fatoum has had a crazy day today. Sheba Medical Center was throwing a party right at the entrance of the pediatric building. The children could have a lot of fun there and got face paintings. Fatoum and her mother also joined the party, which we are really happy about. I could barely believe that she already had the strength to make this trip, because the last time I’ve seen her she still had pain while walking. After the party she was probably very exhausted and immediately fell asleep so I found her sleeping, still with her face painting on. Her mother told me everything what happened and seemed to be very happy and relieved about how well Fatoum is by now.
Let’s pray for this adorable girl, that she will keep recover that well. Please also thank the Lord that she already has so much strength and is doing so good again!
I visited Fatoum in the intensive care unit today after her surgery, which took place a few days before. A doctor told me that there is still air trapped in the lungs. That’s why they use a tube to drain air from the chest now. Fatoum is doing better today than yesterday, but she still has to stay for another monitoring.
Lord, please help Fatoum and her mother at this challenging time. The mother told me that Fatoum has been depressed and sad since her surgery. Please give her new strength and recovery. It was even more beautiful to see Fatoum smiling for a photo today. Her mother was also very happy to see her daughter happy after days of sadness. And when I left the hospital at the end of a long day, I even saw Fatoum take the first small steps with her mother. How nice to see that. That makes optimistic about progress!
Fatima was operated on today at Sheba Hospital, she had her Fontan Surgery and it is the last of three stages of surgeries for her. What has been done today was to reroute
blood from the lower half of her body to go straight to the lungs instead of to the heart first.
While Fatima was being operated on, I took care of her mom who was very nervous and worried about her daughter. While we waited, she showed me proudly the pictures of Fatoum. Then she read the Koran and when she cried I hugged her and shared her tears to show her that I share her pain.
After a few hours, the doctor came with the good news that Fatoum is fine. The operation went well and the chest could be closed immediately. The attempt to remove the tube went also well. Fatoum is stable and now recovering in the ICU.
Fatoum’s mother couldn’t wait to see her daughter safely returned to the ICU room. She is very thankful to have her daughter back but still strained and overwhelmed from the last few hours of extreme anxiety and fear for her daughter. As we hugged goodbye, we both had tears in our eyes. Please pray for Fatoum’s recovery but also for strength and comfort for her mom.
Today I was able to spend my whole day with our little Fatoum. She stayed the last night with us in our beautiful Ashdod house named ‘Revayah,’ which she was so happy about. But because she loves Ashdod so much, it was very hard for us to maneuver her departure from the house. Her mother even said to me that Fatoum would like to go to school for two days and to Ashdod for two days each week. It made me so happy to hear that the families like our place!
When we arrived at Sheba Medical Center and walked through the admissions process, we had a lot of time together in the waiting area running, painting and chilling. Then came her ECG.
After the X-Ray, we brought Fatoum and her mother to their prepared hospital room.
At first she didn’t want to stay in the hospital, she cried and didn’t want to lay on her bed, but when her doctor entered the room and did first examinations, she was very calm and seemed to be interested in what was happening. It was really great to see her ending her long day in a calm and peaceful way.
Please pray for Fatoum and her mother, that they can make themselves at home and feel comfortable in the hospital. Please also pray for her surgery which will hopefully be on Thursday.
During the imaging, we sat with Fatoum’s mother who was very kind to us. While waiting for another child of ours, I played with Fatima and we even learned a clapping game and tried to figure out how the vending machines work.
The doctors don’t know when Fatoum’s Fontan surgery will be, so we were able to bring them back to Gaza in the late afternoon, but we had much fun today.
We pray for beautiful Fatoum and her recovery; we bless her family and their time in Gaza until we will meet again for her surgery.
It was so great to see Fatoum that happy and spirited! She had an echo today to check if her fever is in any relation to her heart. Fortunately the doctors couldn’t find anything. It is sad that she didn’t get discharged yet, but we’re so glad that everything seems to be okay and we want to thank the Lord for that!
On the weekend, Fatoum had to be taken to Sheba Hospital unexpectedly with an increased fever. We were all concerned about her condition, but today we were reassured because, thank God, she feels better. This morning the fever had already gone down significantly and her mother reported that a doctor had told her if this continues, Fatoum could come back to our community home in Ashdod tomorrow.
Her surgery is scheduled for next week – when exactly, we will find out soon. Please pray that Fatoum’s health will continue to get better and that she can spend some carefree days in Ashdod before her upcoming surgery.
At Sheba Hospital today, the Pediatric ICU staff confirmed Fatoum was ready to be discharged. After her cath two days ago, Fatoum was stable enough and ready to go to our community home in Ashdod and wait their for her planned surgery in the next few days.