Hala seems to be doing very well, and possibly being discharged from Hadassah Hospital very shortly. The hospital has taught Hala’s mum how to feed her little one via the PEG machine. God bless her as she continues to give care to her daughter in this new but temporary way.
The medical staff at Hadassah Hospital had decided to give Halah a two-day reprieve to drink enough milk to gain weight. Unfortunately, she couldn’t gain weight by herself. That is why the PEG probe had to be installed today. With that, Halah receives nutrition directly through her abdominal wall to her stomach. In this way she gets enough nutrition and can become stronger. Then she will also become strong enough to drink by herself.
When we arrived at the hospital, Halah and her mother were already waiting for the transfer to the operating room.
Halah’s mother was glad we went with her. Laughing nervously, she walked behind the bed to the operating room. Halah was soon out of our sight.
Yesterday, I reluctantly brought the PEG tube sets to Halah’s room while she was sleeping. The PEG procedure is making a window of skin around the umbilicus to feed directly into the stomach. The Social worker requested that we buy these machines and I delivered it… but frankly, I did not want the machine to be used. So I requested to pray for Halah to avoid PEG, God willing.
Today I visited Halah at Hadassah Hospital again and found she was eating from a milk bottle without vomiting. WOW ! It is quite a change! Halah’s mom was excited that Halah was tolerating and sucking very well from the bottle.
However, she is still scheduled for PEG two days from now, and I asked her doctor about this. He knows this situation and will observe 24-48 hours and if she does not miss her meal and gains weight, then happily they will discharge her. But if she misses meals, then she still needs to get the PEG.
Therefore, pray continuously for her. I did not realize that eating by myself was such a blessing!
Hala was scheduled for PEG las t week at Hadassah Hospital because she was unable to swallow well. That’s why she still had an NG feeding tube in her nostril. They tried to find the real cause of the problem, so MRI and ENT examinations were done, but they could not determine any serious etiology.
PEG is a kind of operation to make a window of skin near umbilicus to put food directly into her stomach via syringe and tube. But doctors have cancelled the PEG operation because she was not breathing well. However, Hala looked good today as far as breathing on her own and I prayed for a cure of her esophagus, lung and other organs. I said to Hala’s mom to train her with a pacifier. Hala seemed to suck strongly with a pacifier. If she sucks very well, that would be good sign to swallow afterwards.
Also, her SpO2 was 99~100% after proper operation. We pray that Hala would be blessed with swallowing delicious milk and food in her life ,just like one of us.
The staff at Hadassah Ein Kerem are concerned because Halah will not eat from a bottle yet. She seems to be perfectly content with the feeding tube. On Sunday the doctor will make a decision whether or not to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach until she is stronger. It would be wonderful if she started eating before Sunday so this would not be necessary.
Thank you for your prayers for this beautiful child.
We pray that Halah will be able to eat soon so she can be released from hospital and join her family at home.
Early Wednesday morning, Halah had some trouble breathing and was placed back on the ventilator. Thankfully, as of today, she is breathing on her own again with the help of some oxygen-support. The nurses at Hadassah Hospital said she was stable this afternoon.
Halah is very calm and resting well today. When Halah starts to fuss her mother gently strokes her head and speaks with her. Today it seemed like the baby was speaking back and they had a nice conversation!
The nurse from PICU at Hadassah Ein Kerem said Halah had a high fever last night. They have taken blood, urine and spinal fluid samples to determine the cause. They should have results back before surgery. She is on antibiotics to clear up any possible infection. The doctors are planning Halah’s surgery for Sunday. They are expecting to fix the coarctation of the aorta, the ventricular septal defect and possibly the pulmonary artery banding, if needed.
Halah’s nurse at Hadassah Ein Karem told me this afternoon that Halah has been crying a lot. The nurses are being extra careful to not disturb her any more than absolutely necessary, and to try to keep her as calm as possible. Her mother is very attentive and loving when she is fussy.
Tomorrow morning the doctors will determine which procedure(s) to perform. They are considering a pulmonary artery banding and maybe a balloon, or stent, to open the aorta to help with oxygen and blood flow to Halah’s legs and lower body. The surgery is likely to happen sometime tomorrow.
Halah arrived at Hadassah Ein Kerem this afternoon. Her bruises and needle marks are evidence that she has had a lot of trauma in her five short days of life. She has a broken clavicle from her birth, which apparently is not uncommon. She was on a ventilator but was extubated before her transfer from Gaza. Her oxygen level is stable with a little help from the concentrator.
When we came into the room we witnessed Hala’s very healthy lungs! She was not happy about all that was being done to her. While we were visiting, an echo was performed and Halah’s mother was able to keep her baby calm by lovingly stroking her hair and cheeks.