Last night we had our goodbye party for Sarjon. The mothers on base cooked a delicious dinner, and we shared gifts and watched a wonderful commemoration video, courtesy of brother Craig. The party went late into the night as we gathered around one another, celebrating and remembering and anticipating.
At two this afternoon, we got in the van and took off for the airport, Sarjon and his mother waving at our gathered community members, and they waving back. Both the drive and airport entrance were uneventful—after brief questioning, Ben Gurion security allowed our team through, and we took Sarjon and his mother to the airport security checkpoint.
We paused outside it for a while and shared a cup of coffee. Sarjon played with his current favorite toy, a small wind-up firetruck with flashing lights. He would squeal in delight whenever it ran toward him and then immediately hand it back to Luisa or I to wind-up again. He never tired in the repetition—proof of the life and joy within him.
His mother embraced and thanked us again and again at the end, telling us we must come to see them. Then she took Sarjon through the security checkpoint. We waited at the entrance as she and Sarjon passed through the scanners and waved when they looked at us. They waved back and smiled, turned, and walked to their gate.
We thank our heavenly Father for the time of love and communion we had with Sarjon and his mother; we thank Him for Sarjon’s healing; we thank Him for Sarjon’s restored future! We praise you Father, who gives so many good gifts! Send them safely home at last!
Today we started out full of hope and anticipation. Today was Sarjon’s follow-up echo appointment at Sheba Hospital after his surgery. Sarjon arrived to the hospital ready to explore whatever today would bring.
Sarjon’s mum was a little nervous about today but was hoping and praying it would bare good news. The ECG went well and Sarjon moved on to having his Echo.
Well this is where the day hit a snag and began going sideways. Sarjon decided he was very scared of the Echo process and nothing his mother or I could do made it possible for us to get Sarjon to cooperate. It is always difficult seeing a child in so much distress. Eventually it was decided that he would need to be sedated for a proper echo. After being sedated, the doctor was finally able to have a closer look at Sarjon’s heart.
Praise the Lord for the doctor’s willingness to persevere, as this lovely little man and his mum finally received the news they have been so longing to hear. It’s time to go back to Kurdistan. I must admit I was elated, but then my heart sank as I looked at these two wonderful people I have grown to love dearly and now know they will be leaving.
Yes they will be leaving a large hole in many of our hearts, but we rejoice in the knowledge that home with their family is where they belong. So yes parting is sometimes sweet sorrow and never easy. Lord please watch over them as they return home to Kurdistan and bless them richly.
Sarjon was discharged to our house after his surgery! Sarjon did not like the hospital at all and he was in a bad mood all the time. But as soon as we put him in his car seat to go back to Ashdod, a smile appeared and since then he couldn’t be more happy.
He didn’t eat much in the hospital as well. In our community home in Ashdod, he started eating more, especially when he found out there were grapes in the house.
Sarjon is doing well so far and he needs to come back to the hospital for an echo in two weeks. In the meantime, he is happy in our community for Shabbat dinner and of course to pet Shevie.
Our cute little friend is getting better day by day. When I entered his room this morning he was first crying as he thought I’m a nurse but once he recognized me he calmed down and allowed his mother to leave the room and eat for a while what she can’t really do while he is awake. In the time I was in the room with him his nurse came in and removed the last of his IV meds, so he is now only getting meds through his mouth which is a good step. They also were able to remove his chest drain and e doesn’t need oxygen support anymore!
Those are all really good and hopeful steps and we are thankful for his recovery! He is still not feeling very well but that is understandable after such a big surgery just a couple of days ago. Thank you for praying for our good friend!
Today, three days after his surgery, I visited Sarjon in the Pediatric ICU at Sheba Medical Center. I saw his mother from afar, waving at me through the windows of his room. I hurriedly put on the covers that are supposed to keep the room sterile to finally see Sarjon. Very slowly he woke up after his anesthesia; he was moving back and forth. You could also hear him murmur softly from time to time. How nice to see him again after the successful surgery!
The doctors told me that he still had a slight fever this morning and they had run tests to rule out bacteria as the cause, but the results weren’t out yet. In addition, Sarjon receives medication for the pain.
Thank God, doctors were able to reduce the oxygen support and are basically very optimistic about Sarjon’s condition. God willing, Sarjon is continuing to make progress in his recovery and may soon be transferred to the secondary ICU. It’s all in God’s hands, in whom we trust.
This morning I arrived just at the perfect time at Sheba, I went to Sarjon’s room, hugged his mother, said good morning to our whiny friend Sarjon and then we went to the surgery preparation room. There the doctors needed another signature of his mother and explained a few things to her and asked questions. It took still quite a while until they took Sarjon into the OR and in this time Sarjon just told us over and over again that he wants to leave.
After they gave him his anaesthisia they carried him into the OR and his mom started crying. It’s scary when they take your beloved little boy from you to such a big surgery. We waited outside together and she showed me pictures of Sarjon’s three big siblings, from Sarjon’s baptism as a baby and from Kurdistan. We had fun together and distracted each other from the worries for Sarjon. Later another Kurdish boy went in his Cath and so the mothers could wait together and support each other.
The doctors planned to close Sarjon’s AP window, the hole between his aorta and pulmonary in the surgery and told the mom that it will take four to five hours – and after only a little bit more than three and a half hours the head surgeon came out and told us that the surgery is finished and everything went well! What a relief! An hour later we went to Sarjon’s room and saw our cute boy again.
It wasn’t easy for me and his mom to see our usually so active boy lying there sedated but with open eyes and tears in his eyes. But in the end, the thankfulness over the good and successful outcome prevailed. Tomorrow the doctors plan to extubate Sarjon if he continues to improve and we pray that soon we can see his smile again. We miss him in Ashdod running to us and spreading so much joy! Please continue praying for him! And thank God for success in this dangerous surgery today!
This morning we got a message from the hospital that Sarjon will finally have his surgery tomorrow and we have to bring him for his admission. It was great news to his mother who was waiting for this since a long time now.
At ten, Luisa and Lena brought our good friends to the hospital, where after a little bit, I took over his admission. After an ECG, we went downstairs to do his x-ray and later we waited for his room in the ICU where they did some more tests. Sarjon wasn’t very happy about all of this and told us that we wants to go back to Ashdod and our community dog Shevie. He was crying a lot, and especially when they wanted to do his blood test, he was screaming so hard that they had to give him sedation.
In the end, Sarjon didn’t want to let us go and cried again cause he wanted to come with us. Sarjon will have his surgery tomorrow morning at 8 and his mom is getting nervous about it.
It is a difficult surgery and we all pray that this will go well as Sarjon and his mom became such dear friends to us and we love them so much! Thank you for joining us in prayer!
Today had a very early start. Sarjon was booked for a CT (Computerized Tomography) scan at Sheba Hospital early this morning. We left at just after 6 am and quietly weaved our way through the throng of early morning commuters while Sarjon slept.
We had at least a three and a half hour wait. We whiled away the hours, cruising the highways and byways of the hospital hallways. Finally, Sarjon’s number was called and we made our way through the myriad of papers and consent forms.
Sarjon was so brave and faced all the ups and downs today with his usual quiet smile and charm. Sarjon was waking up from the anesthetic with his mum lovingly looking on. She was patiently waiting for Sarjon to return to her, a precious thing to behold. After a brief break to remove Sarjon’s drip line, we were off again to find Neurology for our second appointment of the day.
After another long wait and many more miles up and down the hallways, we went to see the Neurologist. The great news is that neurology has no real concerns about Sarjon, so the heart surgery planned for this coming Monday can go ahead. Praise the Lord for this progress. Prayers go up to watch over our brave little Sarjon, to bless him and his mother, and to give his family peace.
Sarjon is discharged today after his diagnostic catheterization yesterday. Next week he will have to come back for a CT-scan and an appointment with the neurologist. Hopefully after all these tests, the doctors can decide if and when they will do the surgery. Sarjon’s case is complex.
This makes it a long process before the surgery, but hopefully it will be rewarded with a successful surgery. In the meantime, we enjoy our Sarjon so much. He is our little friend who loves to play.
Sarjon had his diagnostic cath today which went very well, but the doctor said she wanted to do another CT scan soon. With the pictures from his cath today and the results of his CT scan, the doctor wants to decide when and if an operation will be performed. Please pray for wisdom for doctors to make the right decision for Sarjon but also please pray for strength and courage for his mother.
Today I accompanied Sarjon and his mom to Sheba Hospital for admission because Sarjon has his Cath tomorrow. The admission procedure included an ECG, a measure of oxygen as well as pulse and heart rates, a covid test, and an X-ray. We were then assigned a room in the 2nd ICU where further tests were accomplished.
Of course we had waiting times between most of the procedures. In these, Sarjon and I enjoyed playing together.
He was intrigued with a large stuffed dog.
After only a short stay on the ward, Sarjon was a little superstar. The nurses were amazed by his extraordinary name and wonderful personality. Please pray for his upcoming Cath, for a good recovery, for all upcoming procedures, for strength and courage for his wonderful and lovely Mother.
Sarjon had his second echo today. He was under sedation so the doctors could take all the time they needed to gather information about his heart. When they started, just a few doctors were present, but over time, seven doctors were in the room to look at his Echocardiogram. After a while they switched to a 3D Echo to get an even better understanding of his heart.
Through all this, Sarjon was so calm and giggled every now and then. This helped to calm his worried mother.
After the echo, the doctor explained what they found. Sarjon has a very rare condition called an AP Window. That means that his Aorta and Pulmonary artery are connected through a little hole. This condition is so rare that is occurs for 0.1% of all congenital heart defect patients. Because it’s so rare, his doctors in Kurdistan didn’t find it and now he’s very late for treatment.
The Sheba Hospital staff decided to take him for a diagnostic catheterisation and some other tests in the following days and then decide together if he’s a candidate for surgery. Pray for Sarjon, this little happy boy and his family in this uncertain time. Pray for the doctors consulting on his case as they don’t see this condition often. We thank the Lord that it’s now clear what Sarjon has and a plan can now be made.
Little Sarjon and his mother show persevering and patience as they wait in our community home in Ashdod. They are still waiting for the doctors at Sheba Hospital to discuss his case in their meeting and to create a treatment plan for him.
Please pray for wisdom for the doctors to set the right treatment plan and that they would implement it soon. Pray also that Sarjon would grow into a healthy young man, and for his lovely mother to continue to have strength and patience.
Last night we collected our new Iraqi child Sarjon and his mother at Ben Gurion Airport and brought them to our community house in Ashdod where they could get a little bit of rest before we took them to Sarjon’s first echo at Sheba Medical Center this morning. Sarjon greeted us with a big smile, amazed by our van and said full of joy “car!”
In the hospital this morning he needed a blood test, echo, ECG and x-ray so that the doctors can make themselves a whole good picture of his heart before they decide about a plan for him.
Tomorrow they will discuss what interventions he will need. Sarjon was very brave during all his examinations and only cried a little bit during the blood test and echo.
He much more enjoyed running though the hallways of Sheba and exploring all the different playgrounds there. His favorite thing – who could have seen that one coming – were the cars in the waiting area. He gave us all very strict instructions how to push around the car and what to do. It was a lot of fun to get to know his little personality and we enjoyed the whole day with him and his mom.
Please pray for Sarjon and his mom as they start to settle in here with us and for all upcoming treatment.