Today we took Rizhna, her mum and another Kurdish family to Jerusalem. They were really excited to see the city.
First we went to the Garden Tomb and then made our way through the markets. Rizhna’s mum enjoyed the short shopping trip. Then we arrived at the Temple Mount. There the families had the opportunity to pray in the Al Aqsa mosque.
After a while we walked back to the car for our trip home.
It was a long day filled with car drives, shopping and sightseeing; we were all glad to be back home. It was really good for them to have some variety, since they have to wait really long for appointments in the hospital.
A day at the beach
Today Rizhna got to go to the beach with her mom and the other families living with Shevet Achim Ashdod.
Rizhna was a bit afraid of the water with its waves but enjoyed sitting in the sand and playing with it. This was a nice day without a doctor’s appointment, but the next appointment is already in sight. It will be at the Dentist on Sunday the 28th of May.
We are thankful that she enjoyed the beach and is not experiencing any setbacks but is getting better. There are still some other appointments she has to have with the doctor and we pray that she is able to get these necessary appointments soon.
Sweet Rizhna from Kurdistan is still awaiting all the necessary pre-surgical evaluations required at Sheba Hospital, but there have been a lot of delays.
Please pray for things to move forward at the hospital as she and her mom have been waiting patiently in our community home in Ashdod for a long time now.
Waiting and Enjoying
Rizhna has been hanging out like you wouldn’t believe. When we first met this little girl three weeks ago, she was constantly fretting and crying and anxious, and even the happiest of times would barely distract her. But now she is more comfortable; she laughs and she plays and she, in her own way, communicates, mostly with expressive grunts but occasionally with words. She’s become popular with the women on staff, who eagerly greet and hold her, and she runs to be held. We’ve come to see that this little girl has a big personality of her own. Her mother is less lonely now, too, since we have another Kurdish family with us! Just today they treated us to a delicious lunch–what a gift!
First Steps at Sheba
Rizhna had her first echo at Sheba Hospital this morning. It was not without its difficulties, as she is very afraid of doctors and was not pleased by the echo procedure. It soon became clear that she would need some sedation medicine to help her stay calm enough for the echo. Once she got this, the whole procedure became much easier, and the echo tech and two cardiologists were able to get nearly 200 images of her heart.
Rizhna’s situation is a bit complicated. She has multiple heart defects, including pulmonary stenosis and a complete connection between all four chambers of her heart. Additionally, she has some severe developmental delays. These are likely caused by a syndrome that could have caused her heart defects as well.
Rizhna’s cardiologists will discuss her case at their meeting at the beginning of next week and let us know what the next steps are. They expect that she will need a diagnostic cath, a cardiac CT, and some dental repairs before she is ready for surgery.
Welcome to Israel
Two days ago four and a half year old Rizhna went together with her mother on a long journey to come here to us. First they flew from Kurdistan to Jordan where they were collected by Shevet Achim coworkers, including Tatiana and were welcomed as their guests for two nights. We received pictures and videos from them and saw that they had a great time there together.
This morning these two moms and their children then started the second part of their journey and went through the border from Jordan to Israel where coworker Michiel and I collected them and brought them to our community house in Ashdod. Here they are starting to feel at home now and we are excited to get to know them better.
Rizhna has a combination of multiple heart defects including an AV canal, pulmonary stenosis and an overriding aorta. She also has some other genetic defects, her doctors in Kurdistan suspect that it might be Williams syndrome, wherefore she is developmentally delayed and for example doesn’t speak yet even though she is already four and a half years old.
Rizhna was very tired from all the travels and directly fell asleep in her bed in Ashdod. Tomorrow she will have her first echo at Sheba Hospital. We pray she and her mom will have a good start here in Israel, for successful treatment for her, and that God touches their hearts.