Yesterday was our last day with little San. Just two days ago we got the great news that he is completely fine and can go home to Kurdistan and this morning his flight was leaving.
Yesterday evening we had a fun little farewell-party for San and his mother. Over tea and cake we shared a few words with each other, words of appreciation and gratefulness. It felt so good to reflect on the past few months with San and his mother.
But as soon as they received their traditional packet of gifts, the calmness was over: San got a few cars from us and he immediately started playing with them until he had to go to bed.
The next day started really early for San. At 3 am, I woke San and his mother and only half an hour later we were on our way to the airport.
There we met another Kurdish child from Shevet who was also discharged to Kurdistan a few days ago. Since San was in our community house in Ashdod with this other child during most of his time here in Israel and knows her really well, they were playing and fooling around at the airport much of the time. It was really hard to keep them under control!
But after the check in and giving the suitcases away, it was time to say goodbye. Knowing that this is maybe the last time we may ever see them, it was hard to hold back the tears but I could find comfort in knowing that we have formed a strong bond with each other. With all the ups and downs, and with their time here sometimes having felt like a roller coaster ride, we will never forget those times and are stronger for them. They taught us how important it is to be there for family, no matter what, and that you are always able to help, even if it is just through a hug. And being able to go through a hard time together with them is so priceless and truly a gift of our God.
Little San was here for over three months, but it felt like he was part of our community for a longer time than that. He filled the whole community up with his energy, his laughter and with his fooling around. Wherever he was, you couldn’t help it but talk and play with him. We are all so grateful for the time God let us spend with him, for the healing process San passed through, is still going through, and of course for the relationships that developed in that time.
Please join us in our thanksgiving and rejoicing for God’s grace! We are sure that he has a plan with that family and we’re so thankful for having been a part of it for this season!
In the last few days, and especially today, San had the opportunity to let all his energy flow into the move. The Jerusalem-community is moving from the small guesthouse in the centre of Jerusalem to a big four-appartement house close to Hadassah Medical Center. And today was the first time he saw the house.
Though he wasn’t helping with unpacking the boxes or with cleaning the house he took over an essential part: keeping us entertained. Either by grabbing random stuff out of the boxes and playing with it or by running through the new garden and escaping through the little gate. It is unbelievable that no matter what he is going through or how early he had to wake up: he never seems to lose his energy. He is not getting tired of running through the whole house or of fooling around with the other Kurdish child that is living with us. We love him so much for just being himself and could barely imagine this new house without him.
Feel free to join us in prayer for little San. May the Lord make his time here unforgettable for all of us, that we are getting closer and closer and that he can enjoy the next few days here in this house before his long awaited Echo.
Little San is already staying with us in the Jerusalem guesthouse for over a week now. We knew immediately that he has more energy than any other child before. It is really fun to spend some time with him since he is never getting tired of discovering his surroundings. Sometimes it can also be a bit exhausting because with an age of almost four years, he still has a lot to learn.
For example, he loves to climb or to take random stuff he finds (for example my scarf) with him and to make him stop is really difficult. But in the last few days, I found a little trick: he loves to be in someone’s arms. So every time I want to prevent him fooling around, I just take him in my arms and carry him around with me. He really likes it and it is also kind of fun, taking him everywhere and showing him what he can do and what he shouldn’t (for example touching the hot oven). He seems to learn a bit from it so I’m really curious how our next time together will turn out.
Moving into the new guest house will probably make it really hard to keep him under control, but I’m sure God will help us to manage that. Let’s give thanks to our Father, that he has given San so much energy and curiosity! Please ask him for enough energy for his mother, who is exhausted every now and then, that she is able to deal with his power!
Short stay in the hospital
Yesterday, San developed some pain in his neck and shoulders and a little bit in his chest. After checking with the cardiologists at Sheba Hospital, we decided in the afternoon to bring San to the ER to get him checked. It was only seven days after his open heart surgery, so we wanted to be safe.
Doctors at Sheba did a blood test and an x-ray. Even though everything looked good, they decided to admit him so they can watch him for a while. San didn’t mind the waiting time and played happily with one of the hospital clowns and his bubbles.
After long waiting hours, San and his mom were able to go to their room in the pediatric ward. When I arrived there this morning, I found them in the echo area. San had just seen his cardiologist who said San’s heart looks okay right now. One of his valves is leaking a little bit and the doctor doesn’t know yet if it will get better once his heart has adjusted to the closed hole, or if it is a different problem and San will need surgery for it. He would like to see San again in a month but also understands if his mom wants to get the follow-up echo in Kurdistan, so he left the decision up to her.
San was discharged to our house in Ashdod again this evening and we are glad that there was no serious problem with his heart. Please pray for wisdom in all decisions and especially for his mom. This situation is everything but easy for her.
This morning coworker Joanne and I already arrived very early at Sheba Hospital to be with San’s mom on the big day of his surgery. His mom was waiting so long for this day and was very happy that it was finally happening. San was supposed to be the first surgery in the day, but because there was another little emergency surgery, his surgery started a little bit more than two hours later. San didn’t mind that waiting time even though he was not allowed to eat.
We played with his Chanukah balloon, and some other toys and he was hiding under his blanket between the bed of his mom and the suitcase. After that he was sleeping a while to get some energy before his surgery. Once in that waiting time his mom had him on her lap and suddenly started crying. I think she realized in this moment that this may be the last time she is holding her only son like this. I was touched and just prayed that San’s surgery will go well and he will soon recover from it.
Finally the doctors took San to the OR and we started waiting with his mom. She was very strong and brave, talked with some grandmothers and moms from Gaza, visited another Kurdish child and we played some air hockey in the hospital together. And surprisingly after less than four hours, a doctor came out to tell us that San’s surgery was already finished and he is back in his room.
Everything went well and San is doing good. What a relief. A little later, we could go to his room in the ICU with his mom. San was already starting to slowly wake up and open his eyes. We were all a little afraid before this surgery as San is pretty old already and didn’t get a surgery before, but now we are even more thankful for this miracle! Thank you God! Please help San to recover fast!
This evening, at the end of Shabbat, we brought our Kurdish child San to Sheba Hospital for his surgery admission. He will have his big surgery to treat his congenital heart defect tomorrow morning. San was very patient through all the tests the doctors had to make with him and made fun out of every situation possible. Sometimes you could see that he’s a little bit afraid because this whole environment is so strange for him, but his kind mother was there to comfort him all the time.
We need to pray for San and the doctors treating him tomorrow. It’s not an easy procedure so we ask the Lord to bless them with wisdom, knowledge and concentration through everything. Also pray for his mother as she is worried with her only son going into such a big surgery.
God's work in the little things
Since two weeks we tried to schedule an appointment with the anesthesiologist that San needs before he can have his dental treatment – without success. Today we had another child from Gaza coming who needed to see an anesthesiologist and ask him if he can have a look at San too because he needs his heart surgery soon.
And indeed, the doctor was really kind and made the appointment for San too. He examined him a little bit and looked at his reports and talked with his mom and now he is cleared to have his dental surgery.
I was very amazed how God was working in this thing. We usually don’t have kids coming for an anesthesiology appointment, so God scheduled it all in the right time. Thank you Lord!
Now we still need to schedule the dental surgery for San which also seems to be challenging, but we want to trust God that he will also open up a way for this!
Early this morning we got the message from Sheba Hospital that San will have his surgery tomorrow and we should bring him today for his admission. His mother was surprised but happy that the waiting finally has an end.
Half an hour later we were on our way to Sheba where San had and ECG and they did a 3D echo as a preparation for his surgery.
In the waiting time San went together with his mom to a party in front of the hospital where he got balloons and had a lot of fun.
But shortly before San could go into his room in the ICU the head nurse discovered how bad San’s teeth are and that he will need a treatment for that before he can have surgery. The risk of an infection would be too dangerous. This was very disappointing news for his mom who really wants to go home to her family soon again. Tomorrow San will have a first appointment with the dentist where he will decide what treatment he will need.
Please pray for patience for his mom who probably will need to wait again for a couple of weeks until all the dental work is finished and San cam have his surgery.
Thank God San is doing better. He and his mother were finally able to leave the hospital today and went back to Ashdod with us. Both were very happy about it.
San has a 3-D echo next week and after that, his operation. Let us pray for San and his mother in this very challenging upcoming time. We want to entrust San into God’s almighty, loving and strong hands.
After a day of throwing up everything he ate or drank, we took San to the ER. The doctor saw that he looked pale and dehydrated. He decided to give him some medications that would help his stomach to settle down and he received fluids through an IV for three hours.
The whole night San was able to keep fluids down. But because he is a heart patient and because he was sleeping all night, the doctor wanted to keep him in the hospital to make sure he was okay. The doctor said that because of his heart condition, he needs to be perfect to be discharged to Ashdod.
Because of the long wait, coworker Kristie and I had good conversations with the mother of San with the little English, Arabic and Kurdish we had and we shared some food together.
San already looked much better when we said goodbye after the admission. We pray that God watches over this boy and that his body will get strong for the upcoming surgery.
Successful diagnostic catheterization
Our cute San had his diagnostic cath at Sheba Hospital today. When I visited his lovely mother and San, he was asleep because he had trouble sleeping the previous night.
During the procedure, his mother was really worried. She had some company from other parents of our children in the ICU. After the cath she was really relieved as she heard the doctors reassuring her that everything went well. San needs a surgery for his condition so the doctors performed this cath to measure his heart and collect all the information they need for the surgery. When he woke up again afterwards, he was still a little bit confused from the anesthesia but already wanted to play with his balloon.
Praise the Lord for the successful procedure. We want to pray for San and his mother for his upcoming treatment.