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!
Recovery after his surgery
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.
The day we all prayed for
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!
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.
Just arrived and already first echo
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.