Our adorable Marya was discharged today. I can’t believe how she is the only child who always smiles immediately back at you, even though the one year old has gone through three surgeries now. She is such a strong little fighter, always gaining her strength back after surgery. I’m just hoping and praying that she continues to gain strength and that she can go home.
Last night, when Georgia and I brought Marya to the hospital for her admission the moments of waiting were filled with laughter, as we stood around Mary’s room under the florescent lights in the ICU joking in broken Arabic, you could hear our giggles ring throughout the ICU. But nine hours later I returned to that room to find it dark, quiet, and Marya’s mother, who has become so close a friend, standing with her back to the door. She was audibly crying. We embraced and she sat down in a chair. These moments I find God is extremely present in, because there are no words I could say to her, I could only feel with her, a fraction of the weight I knew she was carrying. Yousef came into the room and we prayed for Marya, and after that went outside of the ICU to the waiting area. It was there we sat for four hours in relative silence except for a quick excursion to find tea and coffee or when a few hours later we talked a little bit about her other children. Noticeably her phone was quiet, it is not unusual for a near constant stream of video calls to be coming in from a parent‘s phone when their child is in surgery, but apart from her husband and uncle, her phone didn’t ring, nor did she go pick it up. She steadfastly waited the agonizing duration of Marya’s surgery.
And a few minutes after she commented that Marya should be finishing soon, a nurse from the operating room came out and said that she was done, and she was good. And Marya’s mum’s face broke into a smile, though quickly returned to her calm, stoic demeanor. It was another 45 minutes before she could see Marya, and thank God the doctors gave a not just a good report but an excellent one, they said the surgery went very very well. But these next 24 hours are critical, they don’t yet have a timeline of when they’ll extubate her, that is dependent on how she shows to be recovering from this major surgery. So please pray protection over her stabilization, and for rest for her mother. As I sat in church this past weekend, an organ piece entitled “That which God does is well done” was played; the title caught my eye and I scribbled it on my hand today before going to the hospital to remember that He is good, His plans are good, and we can hope in trust in Him. So at the end of this day, with the finishing of sweet Marya’s surgery, please join with us in praising God, because that which He did, is well done.
Our sweet Marya was discharged from the hospital today! Her diagnostic catheterization we well, and now the doctor said they will let us know when these decided on a surgery date for her second procedure. Please pray for this, because of her complicated heart defects, we need the Lord’s guidance in the operation. Please also pray for the Doctor’s and divine inspiration for them. She was released with many medications and a new high calorie formula specifically to help her gain weight as she is a little over one year old and only six kilos. Please pray for her little body to be strengthened and for her mother, whose devotion and patience never cease to amaze us, may Jesus bless her as she waits.
This was such a long and busy day for the sweet Marya. Especially the endless waiting periods between the examinations were so tiresome.
Firstly when we arrived, she had to have an ECG. She was really upset when the nurse attached the electrodes to her skin and even more when she took them off again. However she only cried little.
As we had been sent up and down many times before the x-ray, Marya was very tired and fell asleep in her mum’s arms. Of course she got upset again when we laid her on the x-ray table. However it only took a minute so Marya could quickly go back into her mum’s arms.
Finally we were allowed to move into her room in secondary ICU. During the weighing and the measuring of her size and blood pressure, Marya remained calm and happy, playing around with her patient wristband. Unfortunately the following blood draw was just too much. She screamed her lungs out.
After I came back from looking after Nyaz (who had just come out of surgery) the room was dark and Marya was sleeping peacefully in her bed. I felt so relieved. The little girl had been so brave throughout the whole day!
Jesus I thank you so much for this beautiful little girl and I pray that you will be with her during her catheterization tomorrow!
This sweet girl had an echo today! Marya is quiet, contemplative, and kind, so being with her in the hospital or at the Jaffa house, is consistently a joyful and life giving occasion. Her echo today led to another cath before her second surgery. The doctors want to be positive that she can handle another surgery at the moment, so the cath will measure her lung pressure. The objective of surgery will be to connect a large vein which delivers blood to the right aorta, called the superior Vena Cava to her lungs, that way her blood will be more oxegenated. Please pray for Marya, as she still has another surgery and another recovery process to go through, and will have to go through again at the age of three. Please pray for protection over her, and stamina for her precious and patient mother, who is the embodiment of gentle and quiet spirit. We love them both, but even more, does Jesus care for these two:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
As parents we are keen to know all the answers to our concerns about our children and Marya’s mother is no different. When we entered the echo room this morning, our nurse Diana had a list of questions for the doctor from mum. During the echo Marya lay placidly focusing her attention on a song coming from the phone. When her doctor entered he ask for specific images to be taken. He was concerned about Marya’s laboured breathing and tight tummy, both of which were on her mother’s list. Her oxygen saturation levels are satisfactory and the echo images showed her liver is slightly enlarged, which may be the reason for her tummy tightness. There were no new issues with her heart today. As the doctor explained to us his plan for adjusting her medications and fluid intake, more of the list could be marked off. Good blood test results from last week answered more questions and finally the doctor finished the list by saying that Marya can begin strengthening exercises for her legs and trunk. At the end of the week she will have another blood test and then her third follow-up echo in 10 days. From this a time maybe set for future surgery.
Little Marya had an exciting day of blood tests, her echo, ECG, and vitals. She and her mom were patient through it all. The doctor listened well to our concerns about her fluid levels that cause an increase in her work to breathe and lower oxygen levels. The nursing team are working with her mom to keep good track of her feedings so as not to overload her heart with too much liquid. Her medications have also been increased to reflect her blood and echo results. Pray for continued improvement in her health and that her fluid levels are managed well.
Today when I walked in to visit Marya with a couple students from the Grace College team, Marya was awake, happy, and enjoying some morning yogurt! Praise God for her continued improvements! Marya is now off all oxygen and is getting better. She still has the one chest tube in that is draining one of her lungs. The doctors believe she will continue to improve without a need for more caths and surgeries during this hospitalization. Thank you for prayers for her healing. Pray for her lung that they may be able to remove that tube soon.
Marya wasn’t quite as pleased with the cath as the doctor. She was obviously hungry when she was done but she was going to have to wait until the anesthesia was out of her system.
It was nice to see Marya today; the first time I have seen her since the day of her surgery. So, it was lovely to see her beautiful face, and so much hair! Marya is so tiny, but looking so intently at me and Joseph who were visiting her. Today she has started trying to feed orally. The nurse said that she does have a fever, and that she is recovering slowly still from her operation.
Please keep Marya in your prayers and she continues to recover. Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill her.
Today when we went to visit our beautiful Marya, she had been extubated yesterday and her mom was happy. The doctor told us that she is stable but for now he wanted her to use a nasal cannula. Her mom is doing very well. Please pray for her and for our beautiful Marya to heal and gain strength in the hospital.
This morning I phoned the hospital and asked about Marya’s first night. They said she was stable but intubated for another day.
When I went into her room she was drinking her milk very happy after the long fasting time she had because today she was having a Heart CT scan. The medical team wanted to know with more clarity her heart problem and also define if her surgery is a urgent case or not, then they will decided the next step to follow.
Her mother is doing very well. Please pray for wisdom for the medical team and that everything will go well with Marya and her mother.
Today we had the pleasure and the honor of picking up at the airport two beautiful families, one of them was our sweet Marya and her lovely mother. She looked so blue and tired, so we went straight to the hospital, and when we arrived there everything was ready for them in the ICU. Mom speaks Arabic, so this is an advantage because is easier for her communicate in the hospital.
The doctors and the nurses talked with the mom and explained everything and it made her more calm and confident about what was happening to her daughter. The medical team did some procedures. Marya cried a lot but only mom could calm her down, finally she went to sleep and I stayed with the baby a few minutes so that the mother could get some dinner.