The last time Leen left Sjheba Hospital, she had an eye infection which caused her discomfort and even pain. The doctor gave her medication for one week but it didn’t work and she was getting worse every day. They revealed to us that one of the medications she was on was not necessary to keep taking, but it seems her eyes are still facing some irritation.
Some time later we received the news that all our children who are stable and don’t have treatment soon have to go to the Westbank; and since one way or another Leen was stable, she could not stay in our house in Ashdod.
Seeing that her infection was not improving, Jonathan decided to take her to a doctor he knows here in the Westbank. Her mother was very happy and grateful because the doctor treated them very well, even knowing that they are from Gaza; the doctor even decided not to charge them for the consultation. The doctor sent her a medication that she only had to use for one week and the infection literally disappeared overnight. Now Leen is happy to not have to deal with that infection.
She still faces some difficulty with her environment, Leen is a six-year-old girl and all the people around her are adults, which causes her to be a little bored since she doesn’t have much to do.
Today Leen came back for her follow-up ophthalmologist appointment at Sheba Hospital. Leen is a precious six-year-old girl who was pleasant and warm to be around; she also has some very troubled eyes! Each examination–and there were three–slowly caused her more and more pain. It turns out she has eye infections in both her eyes, which is the source of her pain. She’ll be given medication and she’ll return to us in three months for her next follow-up.
Pray that her eyes will be healed. I’d like for it to happen for her; she is a sweet little girl.
This morning I picked up Leen and her mother from the Gaza border. What really surprised me and kept me smiling the whole day is how joyful Leen was when she saw me. She ran towards me and hugged me even though we don’t know each other so well. Through the day I realised how many of the staff in the eye clinic she is already friends with. She is a very happy child and loves other people. She had a lot of fun while waiting for her eye clinic appointment at Sheba Medical Center. It turned out that Leen will need new glasses. But apart from that, she is fine and enjoying meeting her friends in Israel. Later on, another friend of Leen’s mother came and they had some good time together after not seeing each other in months. The rest of the day they spent together. Their friend brought them back to the Gaza border. In half a year, Leen will have to return for a follow up appointment in the eye clinic.
Hopefully Leen and her family will find the right glasses for her. Please continue to pray for Leen’s health.
How nice to see Leen and her mother again after several months! When I traveled to Israel in August to serve at Shevet Achim, Leen was one of the first children I came to know. With her open and happy nature, she made it easy for me to settle into community life back then. I was all the happier to see her again today.
Since her echo and ECG appointment at Sheba Medical Center was not scheduled until the afternoon, she had to wait a long time. During this time, Leen tested the instruments located in the hospital’s play area.
Thank God the doctor had good news for Leen too. For now everything looks good and her next follow-up appointment is scheduled for after one year. A hole in the heart may need to be fixed later. However, the intervention for this is far from due. We wish Leen and her entire family God’s blessings.
This morning coworker Tatiana and I drove to the Erez Crossing Point to pick up Leen and her mother for Leen’s appointment at the Sheba Eye Clinic. I’ve never met Leen before, but it amazes me how happy and enthusiastic she is. Two weeks ago she had an eye surgery and came back today for her follow up appointment.
When we walked into the clinic, many nurses were happy to see Leen again and she enjoyed being there. After a few eyesight tests, the doctor told us she could stop taking her eye drops and that she has no restrictions anymore. Her mother was very relieved. Leen just has to return for some check ups to adjust her glasses.
While Tatiana made the next appointments, Leen drew the nurses at the reception some pictures that they immediately hung up.
God we want to thank you for the fast recovery after Leen’s operation. We thank you that you created her so wonderfully and that she radiates positivity and joy everywhere she goes.
Today was the next surgery day at Sheba Hospital for our little friend Leen. Before Leen went into surgery her mother sent me some cute pictures of Leen.
Leen’s mother was very happy as always and directly made friends even with the anesthesiologists. After only a couple of hours, Leen’s mother texted me the good news that Leen was out of surgery and everything went well.
When I visited Leen this afternoon, she was sitting in her bed, eating chips and telling me about her surgery. She is such a happy and cute child, enjoying her life wherever she is.
hank you Lord that everything went so good and that Leen is doing well!
Last week Leen was sent home the day after her admission because she was tested positive for covid. Thank God she wasn’t having bad symptoms and she is completely recovered after her quarantine in our guesthouse in Jerusalem.
Today, coworker Bria and I drove to Jerusalem to collect little Leen and her mother, and brought them to Sheba Hospital for Leen’s second admission. It all went pretty fast and easy and everyone in the hospital was happy to see Leen again.
She is such a cute girl and is directly friends with everyone. We were playing all the waiting time together, she loved to make pictures with me and smiled at the secretary saying “Toda” (Hebrew for thanks). She has already been in Israel for such a long time, that she and her mom picked up some English and Hebrew words.
When I left the hospital and said goodbye to Leen’s mom, she specifically asked me to post a blog for Leen so that people all over the world can pray for her surgery tomorrow.
God please bless this funny girl and her mom and give the doctors success tomorrow!
Leen was admitted to Sheba Medical Center for an eye surgery
Leen, a very cute five-year-old girl from Gaza, and her mother, already spent some days with us in our community home in Ashdod. Today she was admitted to Sheba for an eye surgery tomorrow. A few years ago, she had a first surgery done on her right eye, also at Sheba. Tomorrow, she will have a second surgery in her left eye. It was heartwarming to see how much fun she had during the admission process.
Leen is a very extroverted and communicative girl. She talked with me all the time in Arabic, even though I understood almost none of it. She also loved to play games with us while waiting. It was a really funny morning with her and her mother.
Let us pray that her surgery tomorrow morning will be successful and that the Lord would hold his hands over her.
At Sheba hospital today, little Leen from Gaza returned to us briefly for a scheduled echo-cardiogram.
Leen was able to be seen by the same cardiologist that has been treating Leen since Leen was a baby. The doctor was also happy to see both Leen and her mother again after such a long time.
Leen was one of the first children I’d met when I first arrived at Shevet a year ago. I loved her and her mother immediately as well and I carry them both deeply in my heart. I was really happy to meet them again today after quite a long time.
Leen is a very smart girl and her mother is even teaching her some English words. I loved spending some time today with them and even enjoyed being in the car together with these two lovely ladies as I drove them back to Gaza.
Leen needs to come back for another follow-up echo after one year. Between now and then, the Lord be with little Leen.
Early this morning we took Leen to Sheba Medical Center for her scheduled tooth extraction. It worked out nicely because she had to fast in the hours leading up to the procedure because of the sedation, which meant she was asleep for most of that period and didn’t have to endure hours of an empty stomach during the day. It only took a few minutes to take out her tooth, and after that, the sedation slowly wore off. Her mum bought her an ice cream to eat, as the prescription for types of food to eat over the balance of the day read ‘cold and soft,’ so the ice cream fit the bill.
We then went back to Jaffa where Shevet co-workers Sebastian and Sabrina were loading all of Leen’s things into the Shevet transport van that would take them back to the Gaza border.
Today therefore, was the close of a six-month stay for Leen. Her little life consisted of appointments and treatments for her brain function, heart health, eye health and teeth health, covid tests, an occasional trip to the beach, and visits to Jerusalem. A full and productive and demanding time it was.
On Saturday night, we had a small party for the end of Leen’s time at Shevet Achim, her goodbye-video was eleven minutes long due to the abundance of time spent with us. In every way, Leen and her mother have become like family to us. Leen’s sassy and playful demeanor, and her mother’s hospitable and loving manner, are sure to remain in our hearts and minds as they go back to their family in Gaza.
Finally, to both of them, we’d like to say, “Leen and Um Leen (Mother of Leen), you will always have a home with us!
Leen’s mum often says the phrase “Sabir Ayub,” which is an Arabic expression for ‘the patience of Job,’ and it is always said in the context of circumstances that certainly try our patience.
I thought of this as we went to the dental clinic at Sheba Medical Center today. It was hopefully the last check-up before Leen returns to Gaza after six months of being here for various treatments. Never-theless, the hope of going to Gaza was once again delayed until tomorrow, as Leen needs one last tooth extraction before going back home. The doctor is confident that tomorrow, after this procedure is completed, she can actually return to Gaza.
So we say “Sabir Ayub” in the car, as her hopes of returning home today were deflated. However, there is an anticipation for tomorrow as the day when Leen will see her family.
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.
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.
Dear Leen had another day at the hospital today. She needed to have an EEG test, as she has started on a new medication. She was wearing a new princess face mask today which she was very happy about and proud of.
She greeted many people in the waiting area in Hebrew saying “Shalom, Shalom.”
The neurologist will meet with her and mum next week to discuss the results of today.
Leen is now back at our Shevet home in Jaffa. We have all really missed having her and her mum here.
She has been quite sleepy throughout the day before arriving home, but finally in the car journey to Shevet, we started to hear a little voice counting out “wahad, tnayn, talata.” (Arabic for 1,2,3). Leen’s trademark phrase!
By the time we got back home and her mum had cooked her some food, Leen was feeling very much back to her usual happy and sociable self.
She is behaving very sensibly about her eye, which she is not allowed to touch., Thankfully she doesn’t seem at all distressed or in any pain.
We are hoping by the time she has her check-up and three week’s time, her eye will have healed very nicely.
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:
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.
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.
The first word I think of for Leen and the time she’s had with us is thriving. She’s been enjoying the time with our community and with the other families. You can see how well-loved this girl is when you look at the smile on her face.
Her mother is constantly baking and coming up with new games to play with Leen, even getting the other children involved as well. Today Leen enjoyed using a tube as her mode of communication, taking the other end to others’ ears like playing a game of telephone. It is so sweet to see how much Leen has been growing in her time here. Each day she gets more comfortable with everyone and comes more out of her shell.
We are thankful for the good news of Leen’s upcoming eye surgery and we pray for this time of waiting to be a blessing for Leen and her mother.
Today, beautiful Leen had two back-to-back appointments at Sheba Hospital where she was cleared for corrective surgery for one of her eyes.
The operation has an 80% success rate which is very encouraging. Her mum was astute and thorough in making sure she understood everything, and Leen was a trooper, enduring a long day full of doctors offices and tests.
She did wonderfully and brought her lively spirit to each moment. One of my favourite moments of the day was when we were waiting for the neurologist and she took a book out of my purse and pretended to read it in English. When she realized it didn’t have pictures, she used her hand as a phone to dial the police because I hadn’t brought any children’s stories. Her mum and I got a kick out of this.
Thanks to God for a blessed and happy day for Leen. Please pray for the timing of the surgery, especially as Leen’s mum has other children in Gaza who miss her.
Leen warmly greeted me this morning with a hug and said, “Morning!” She was dressed in a beautiful red and white polka-dot dress, ready and eager to travel to her ophthalmology appointment today. Her mother mentioned how Leen has been waiting for this appointment for more than a year. She was hoping to have Strabismus Surgery last year, but it was delayed.
Today Leen was finally able to see an eye doctor and undergo various tests. Throughout the day, God provided different people to help with translation and even company for Leen. It was lovely to see neighbors helping each other. She will have more appointments with neurology and ophthalmology, with the hope that she will be cleared for Strabismus Surgery in both eyes.
Leen and her mother were both a joy to spend time with. Her mother has a beautiful, kind, generous, and grateful heart. She would sacrifice everything or stay for however long, all for her daughter to be well. Leen is so full of curiosity and joy. We enjoyed playing together in the hot air balloon and playing with various balloons in the hospital. They both have been a blessing to our community. Please continue to pray for Leen as she waits for these appointments. I hope that her joy will continue to multiply.
Leen’s appointment was set at 11:00 today, but co-worker Nicolle and I were waiting at the Erez Border Crossing at 12:30. Many people passed through the border, but there was no sight of any mother and her three-year-old daughter.
We waited and made a few calls to the hospital to let them know that we were still waiting and would be late. We inquired about how late would they be willing to see Leen today. The answer from the hospital, communicated to coworker Georgia was, “She can come at 15:00, but not a minute after.”
It takes about an hour for us to travel from the border to the hospital. It was 13:30 and honestly, we were losing hope. We thought that God would make a way if planned, but if not, then we would still welcome her to stay with us at our Shevet coastal home.
At 13:57 we spotted Leen, and quickly traveled to the hospital to arrive at 14:59. God allowed for perfect timing, as always. God has brought Leen to Israel for a specific reason.
The cardiologist graciously saw Leen. Her heart is looking well, meaning there was a good result of the pulmonary dilation catheterization from January 2019. She is staying at the our Jaffa home tonight so she can have an eye and brain assessment, which hopefully will be tomorrow.
Praise God for the time spent with Leen. Though she is often timid and scared of new surroundings, she quickly became friends with Nicolle. She even had the opportunity to explore the beach nearby.