Still not the end of the journey
Sadly it’s still not the end of the long journey for our beloved precious Leen and her lovely, extremely friendly mother. Leen hadn’t eaten anything today before we went to the needed follow-up after her dental surgery last week. Due to this, she was quite upset and hungry. Anyway, she smiled for the pictures I took, and said “cheese” in her cute little voice.
Poor little thing didn’t liked it at all that the doctor needed to check her tooth. Three people were needed to keep her mouth open, but that worked out well so the doctor was able to look at her teeth.
The outcome of the follow-up visit is that Leen and her lovely mother can’t return back to their family in Gaza yet according to a problem with one of the crowns. She told us that hopefully it will resolve on its own after two weeks; this often happens often with children who have had the same treatment. The doctor wants to see her for another follow-up again after two weeks. If by then the problem is resolved on its own, Leen and her mother can return back to their beloved ones in Gaza. If not, the doctor has to check what exactly is causing the problem. Please pray for our beloved Leen and her mother.
On one hand, I feel sorry for both of them because of course I want them to return back to Gaza after this long journey so they can see their family finally again, but on the other hand I’m pleased that they are joining us at Jaffa still for a little while because they feel like family members to me. It’s lovely to have them at our community in Jaffa for just a little longer.
Final stage of a long journey
Our beloved Leen was bright and cheery when the day dawned of her long-awaited dental surgery. (She was fasting since midnight in preparation for the anesthesia, and a few tears in the car coming down from Jerusalem were quieted by singing “The name of the LORD is a strong tower” in Arabic).
The caring and dedicated team at Sheba put in over a dozen crowns, as well as fillings and one root canal, in a procedure which took about two hours before her mother was finally called back to her side in the recovery room:
By evening Leen was back to her old self, and rewarded with a walk through Jaffa with Shevie:
And even a special visit with a friend who is well-known in the Arabic world:
Leen will be seen again for follow-up after one week, and then should be free to finally return to her family in Gaza after a long healing journey in Israel which included heart treatment, eye surgery, MRI of the brain, and treatment for unusual brain activity. Thank God she has come a long way, and she and her mother have become dear friends and virtual members of our community.
Leen’s mom is a wonderful cook, and we celebrated tonight not only Hanukkah but also Leen’s eye surgery, confirmed as successful Sunday with a follow-up visit at the Sheba Medical Center. And in a major breakthrough, Sheba also agreed to move forward Leen’s much-needed dental repair, under full anesthesia, to this coming week. Thank God for his continuing work in the life of Leen and her family.
Leen and her mother celebrated Thanksgiving in Jaffa with the Shevet community. That was a wonderful experience for them and us. Today it was appointed for them to have a conversation with their doctor about her EEG from last week.
Before we went to the doctor with Leen and her mom, Leen of course didn’t miss the opportunity to use the playground equipment for a few minutes in a children’s waiting area.
After a short wait, we went to the doctor’s room. However, it seemed that he still had something to do, so we had to wait for him a little bit longer. Leen spent the time painting a little bit and playing with some equipment the doctor had in his room.
In the conversation in which the doctor shared the results of the EEG, Leen’s mother was told that everything was fine and thank God there was nothing unusual to see on the EEG of Leen. Leen just needs to continue taking her medication and come back in a couple of months for a check-up.
Thank you for your prayers. Please continue your prayers for precious Leen and her loving mother.
She waved us out the door
Leen’s surgery lasted about one and a half hours and went well without any complications. The doctors decided to operate on only one eye for today. In the waiting time that I’ve spent with Leen’s mom and coworker Georgia, Leen’s mom was busy answering messages and calls from family and friends, all of whom lovingly told her that they were thinking of her and praying for Leen.
After some time, we went together to a supermarket (there is one in the hospital) to buy snacks and juice to make the time go by faster. Even an hour and a half can seem like a long time when you’re waiting for good news.
Just before the surgery was completed, Leen’s mom became very nervous and restless, which was manifested by tapping with her legs and tapping with her fingers. Unfortunately, I could not say any words of comfort or reassurance to her, as I do not speak Arabic. However, I think it was good to just be with her and hopefully make the waiting time a little more bearable.
Leen’s mother was filled with joy when she was finally able to go in and see her daughter, still sleeping in the recovery room. Her own ambulance then drove Leen back to the eye clinic, where she settled back in to rest, but not before her mother coaxed a first smile from her.
Leen’s mother and father were both profoundly touched and so grateful that this day has finally arrived. We joined with them in giving thanks and glory to God for his lovingkindness to us all, before Leen waved us out the door:
Another hurdle for little Leen
Today was a very busy day for Leen and her mom. It was the first time that Leen went to a dentist and she was scared. She had just experienced a covid test a few minutes before which is always really unpleasant. The dentist said that she should have a bigger treatment to get rid of the pain with her teeth which she has almost every day.
After that, we went to the EEG to check that everything was in order for her eye surgery tomorrow, but were unpleasantly notified instead that doctors have found ‘intense epileptic activity’ in her brain. This wasn‘t easy for her mom to absorb because she thought that the eye surgery would be the last big hurdle for Leen, and now there is another.
Medicine for this condition will be administered for Leen so we can pray that this will help. Right now, they are waiting for the eye surgery to proceed as planned tomorrow.
Will you pray with us for the doctors and their medical staff, that they will have wisdom on how to proceed? They are unsure at this point if they are to do both eyes or just one tomorrow.
At Leen’s neurology appointment today, there would be a medical assessment of her brain MRI which she had a few months previously. Leen has a cyst in her brain, and requires a brain scan every year to check whether it has grown.
Thankfully, the neurologist confirmed today that the cyst has not grown, which is really good news. The neurologist examined her with a view to approve her to be able to go ahead with her corrective eye-surgery later this week and to be able to have a general anaesthetic.
Leen will be hospitalised tomorrow and will have an EEG to make definitely sure she can have the surgery.
She was happy as usual during the appointment and her mother also was helpful and kind with the other families from Gaza today. It is a real pleasure to have them both at our home during the wait for surgery.
Prayers from around the world
Leen’s mother this morning requested that I take a photo of Leen to post online, so that people all around the world can pray for Leen. Her mother is always so thoughtful and kind, often diligently caring for our home and family. She prays constantly for her daughter and has been waiting patiently for an appointment for Leen’s eye surgery and also to discuss the results of her brain MRI.
We can learn a lot from Leen’s mother, of her stewardship in caring for what God has provided and by her kindness. Leen herself is a joy and full of energy. She loves playing with the other children and is a sister to all.
Please pray for Leen, that her health and joy would flourish. We also pray for Leen’s family as well, as they are waiting for Leen to return stronger than ever.