When we left Shevet this afternoon, Mateen’s mum couldn’t stop crying. She always said “This is such a sad time.” I remember that when she came to Israel, she had been very afraid because of all the bad stories that she heard about the country. I am quite sure that her attitude towards Israel changed completely during her time at Shevet. On our way to the airport she explained to us that everyone had been so kind and loving to her and that it feels like leaving her family.
As Mateen is on a monogen diet, (he lost lots of weight after his surgery) they had to take lots of special milk with them back to Kurdistan. For me it was such a miracle that they were allowed to check in two extra pieces of luggage without paying for it. Praise God!
While his mum had to unlock her luggage for the security check, I watched Mateen who was sleeping in my arms, thinking that he had been transformed and healed in a such a beautiful way. It was very sad to see them leave, Mateen’s mum has a very beautiful heart (and so has her son now too). Let’s pray that as the both of them are back home, Mateen will gain more and more weight and regain his’ strength. And that the Lord will continue the beautiful transformation he began.
Again, I have the task to try and find the right words to be able to express the absolute pleasure that it is to spend time with Mateen and his mum. Mateen is developing so nicely, with his vocalisations and smiles. His mum of course is ever joyful and patient and lovely company.
At the hospital, its good news that Mateen has put some weight on (although he looks so tiny at just 4.75 kg!), and his blood test was enough to satisfy his doctor, and she has sent him home to Kurdistan. Some more happy news is that she doesn’t think he would need another surgery.
Mateen’s mum wanted to visit all the other Kurdish families in the hospital to wish them well and say goodbye. She is especially touched by Wareen and Nyaz, who both have Downs Syndrome, the same as Mateen.
Please pray for Mateen and his mum. They will have a trip to Jerusalem before they travel back home. Please pray that the eyes of Mateen’s mum’s understanding are opened as she hears the good news of Jesus at the garden tomb.
Svea and I took Mateen and his mum to the hospital for a final blood test today. His mum is such a lovely person, and always joyful and patient. She explained to us in the car that her time here has changed her mind about Israel. She is originally from Iran, and she shared that always she has been told that Israel is the enemy country. The family decided to send Mateen here because they had heard that the doctors in Israel were very good. And that from the first moment that she was met by Diana in the airport, she had felt peace about being here. She has seen that the staff working in the hospital are such good people, so now she has changed her mind entirely about Israel. It was so sweet to hear these words, that Israel is being a blessing in the midst of the earth, shining as a light, and has brought hope and restoration to this family.
Mateen’s blood test went smoothly; we will know the results on Monday. The rest of our time was filled with visiting the other families in the hospital. Mateen’s mum was also able to help translating for Sahand’s father. It was so nice to be with her, and see her heart which is full for the welfare of the other families.
Please thank God with us for the good news of Mateen’s healing! He is so happy and chatty and interactive now, which is such a change from when he first arrived with us, without energy.
Today in the morning we took our beautiful Mateen with his mother for a follow-up with his cardiologist. When Svea went into his room he received her with a big smile; he is really sweet and beautiful. Mom was very happy that our translator was with us because he was able to explain everything to mom and also to ask each question that she had for the doctor.
Thank the Lord today wasn’t a long day for them. When we arrived at the hospital they did an echo, ECG, and vital signs. The doctor was really happy for his echo which showed a good surgical result. Thank the Lord he does not have liquid in his lungs. Mom was really happy to hear that, but his weight was less than last time. So, the doctor decided to increase the special milk that he is taking.
In one week he will need another blood test and weight check. If everything is good he can go home! But he needs to continue with his special milk for a while. Mom was really happy and we are also.
Please pray for him to gain weight and that he can go home healthy.
Quite at the beginning of today’s hospital visit I was left alone with little Mateen for a few minutes. When I smiled at him he returned the smile. While I was looking at him I was thinking, “Oh, what am I going to do if he starts to cry?“ then realized that I never really saw him crying. Even when his mum came back and started to prepare his bottle, he didn’t cry at all but only made some gentle noises (which is very special as most of the other children start to scream as soon as they get hungry). I know that his mum loves him a lot; she is always protecting him. A calm child must be a pure blessing to his parents and I believe that he is a blessing.
Mateen (left) cuddling next to Aram (right)
When we then went to the blood test, it was the first time I saw him crying, as he was in pain. Yet he was so brave, eyes fixed on his mum who sang to him to calm him down. The nurse did a really good job so the blood test didn’t take longer than necessary.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for what you have done so far in Mateen’s life! He is going to have an echo next week and I pray that his results will be fine.
Early this morning we took our sweet Mateen with his beautiful mother to his first follow-up appointment after surgery. He is such a cute and handsome boy. When we arrived to the hospital they did a blood test and he cried a little less than his mom. She loves him so much and they are both really brave. Also, they took an ECG, vital sign and an echo. Thank the Lord these showed a good surgical result. Mateen is gaining weight which is great. The doctor saw that he has some liquid in his right lung and also some regurgitation, but the doctor feels this is not a big problem. Some medications were decreased and will be stopped, and only one was increased which overall is positive. For now moving forward, Mateen will need a special milk which is safe for him to drink whilst he has liquid in his lungs. He will have another blood test in one week and see the cardiologist again in two weeks time. Praise God mom could understand everything today and asked everything she wanted to as she met a volunteer and discovered they both speak Farsi. Mom was overjoyed to be able to speak Farsi today. She had a good time.
Please pray for Mateen and join with me to declare in the name of Jesus that the liquid in his lung is gone and also we declare his complete recovery, also strength and peace in his wonderful mother.
Mateen has to stay in the hospital. He had a significant drop of weight (about 800 grams) after his surgery. A disappointment for the mother, because she is very tired. However, the doctors expect him to return to Shevet soon.
Today it was very beautiful to see again our sweet Mateen and his beautiful mom. Praise the Lord Mateen is recovering well. He is so strong and brave. I really enjoyed when he smiled at me; he is so sweet. Now he doesn’t need nasal canula or NG tube. And today the doctors removed his chest tubes. Mom was very excited for that. Also they performed an echo and in the afternoon a blood test. If everything continues well tomorrow he will go back to the Shevet Achim house.
Mom is really happy for that and of course so are we. Please pray for Mateen for a fast and complete healing and a return back to our home soon.
We have a lot to thank our Father for on behalf of Mateen! Today his beautiful mother got to discuss her son’s second surgery with the doctor. It was a funny scene of the doctor speaking to a nurse in Hebrew, and the nurse then translated to Arabic for Mateen’s father who was on the phone in Kurdistan. But thankfully both father and mother got to hear the good news!! Mateen’s valve repair was successful, so much so that he was extubated a few hours after that conversation. Mateen’s mother was so joyful after she got the news. Thank you Jesus for your restorative power and for the life of this precious boy.
A Difficult Time for Two Warriors
These last days have been so difficult for Mateen’s Mom, but she is really strong and hopeful. Our beautiful Mateen had another surgery today. The doctors and nurses have been so helpful with his mother this time. They explained about the different procedures he had and his condition to her and via phone also to her husband.
Today, his surgery took such a long time. After around six hours waiting, Mateen finally came out. The doctor told us that the surgery was good. But for now, he is not completely stable. That’s why they gave him medication supporting his heart. Tomorrow, he is going to have another echo – depending on that and his recovery in these next hours, he will be extubated.
Unfortunately, I could not stay with his mother in the beginning of her waiting. But during the time I did spend with her, I could see a strong mother! As I’ve already said, she is a warrior. And also Mateen stayed so brave during those last 10 days filled with so many procedures. But also, I know that God’s hands are taking care of him. Please pray for this sweet baby. Pray, that he can be stable and completely healed.
Today we got great news from the hospital! Mateen will have his heart surgery tomorrow. After an echo in the afternoon, the doctors explained everything to the mother. She is very nervous but also glad that the operation will be tomorrow. Mateen is a strong little boy and the doctors are very confident. It is still not sure if he needs one or two surgeries. Please pray for healing and that the doctors make the right decisions.
When I got into her room the doctor was already there checking him and getting his medical background history. His mom was quite worried about her son but she didn’t stop singing Kurdish baby music while she was dandling him. When the nurse took him to the catherization, she started crying and was really upset. But after a while she was calming down and she enjoyed the time with us showing pictures of her other sons and big family. After two hours of waiting Mateen came out of the catherization and his very mom was really happy to see him doing good. The doctor said that the cath went well. Now they are looking for further plans. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors concerning his further treatment. Please also pray for a good recovering and strength for his mom.
A Long Day with the Best Company
Sometimes it’s a long day in the hospital when the children are going to be admitted for different procedures. But each time of waiting is different. Today I had the pleasure to be all day with our sweet Mateen and his amazing mother. They really had a long and exhausting day. In the morning we arrived at the hospital for an ECG and check of vital signs. Mateen cried a little more than his last time at hospital but the nurse blew bubbles for him and I put on some music, and this was enough to calm down him. Later the doctor performed an echo, and after we went for a chest x-ray. The next step was waiting for the doctor to explain to mom the procedure for tomorrow, followed by a wait for Mateen’s bed to be ready.
So, we had a long, long time of waiting in the echo area of hospital today but mom was really patient and we got to know each other better. Mateen’s mother was a little tired and anxious because last night she couldn’t sleep as she is thinking a lot about her beautiful son. This is the first time that one of her sons is going to go to surgery. But her family is a great support for her. We spent our time talking to each other about our families, along with Georgia and Sophie. We were able to eat together and Mateen had many opportunities to fall asleep whilst resting on my legs. He is really an amazing boy; my favorite thing about him today was when he was smiling at me. Each time that I saw mom with Mateen I could see true love. She really loves him. Although she is tired and is afraid of the unknown at the moment she is really brave and strong.
Finally the doctor called us – she was very nice with us and she explained everything to Mom and Dad (on the cellphone) because Dad can speak Arabic, so he was our translator today. The doctor answered all of the questions that they had. After that, we went to the ward room and a kind nurse welcomed us, took vital signs for Mateen, and she took us to Mateen’s room. Mom was very happy that the room was only for them.
I put Mateen in his new bed and he fell asleep immediately. Maybe around 20 minutes later, the nurse called us and took us to the procedures area. In this place the doctor did a blood test and took swabs, put in an IV line for fluid and asked mom some questions to get ready for the catheterisation. Mateen was a really brave boy; he didn’t cry because his mom sang for him all the time. When they finished with the tests, I took mom to the room again and I gave her a hug and prayed for them. She was very happy that someone was with her the whole time. Tomorrow morning Mateen is going to have a diagnostic cath. If this is successful, he is going to have his surgery soon. Please pray for this beautiful baby and for strength and peace for his Mom.
Today, very early in the morning, we went to airport to pick up two beautiful families that came from Kirkuk. They landed earlier than we thought but than they took such a long time, about one and a half hours, to go thru customs. We were a little worried but finally we got to greet these sweet families. One of the them was so precious Mateen and his mother. It was a lovely and easy to communicate with his mother because she speaks a little English. Mateen is a beautiful 7 months old. Thanks to the wisdom of his mother he was diagnosed with congenital heart disease when he was two days old.
Today he had his first assessment in Sheba hospital. He was very tired and hungry from the traveling , so the echo was very easy to do because his mother gave him milk and then he fell asleep. The doctor confirmed his diagnosis . The doctor thinks they should do a cath first before scheduling the surgery. His saturation is a little low and his lungs pressure is a little high. So the doctor thinks that it is better to confirm Mateen’s condition before the surgery is decided on. His case is going to be discussed this week and the doctors will make the plan for him.
Please pray for wisdom for the medical team for the best plan for our sweet Mateen and for peace for his beautiful mother in this time they are far away to home.