The word privilege scarcely describes what I felt bringing Zhya and his mum to the airport. I was there for his surgery day and I won’t ever forget his mother’s heart wrenching anguish, nor my own hopeless resignation to what most of the doctors said, which was that he would not live. So it’s crazy to think that in those agonizing hours of waiting for Zhya to come out of surgery, God not only saw us there, but He saw us as we were today; Zhya, a little boy so healthy that you wouldn’t guess he ever had open heart surgery, and his mother crying tears of joy as she departed for her gate, to go back home with her son alive and so, so well.
When Zhya and his mum were discharged back to the Jaffa base after his surgery about one month ago, it was the day of a goodbye party for another child, and Jonathan pointed out the joy surrounding the occasion was all the more increased because Zhya was back at Shevet. His prognosis, which was projected to be death, was miraculous because against all odds it was life. For all the dark we excepted, it only made the light more powerful and more glorious. And in Zhya’s story we see strands of the Great Miracle: life bursting forth when all men’s conjectures culminated in death. Zhya’s mum agreed with Jonathan, at this party, she said that it was Jesus who had heard our prayers. She knows who it was who healed her son and who gave him life. We pray this knowledge of Jesus only grows more and more in her and her family. Every time they look at Zhya, every time they hold him, they are looking at God’s grace, they are holding His grace. To the true, immortal, and eternal God, we thank you, King, for Zhya’s life, and let us all say amen.
Today we went to the hospital with Zhya hoping to have his last echo. They started by checking his heart with an ECG then they weighed him, took his vitals and lastly was the echo. While waiting Zhya cried, played, smiled, and sang songs; all these emotions in just one hour! Mom was anxious to know and we also were full of expectation to know what the echo reported. After the nurse performed the echo we were asked to wait for Dr. Tirosh in the echo room. The desk was too tempting for Zhya and he ran to play with the keyboard! He was the doctor! Mom enjoyed it, taking several pictures of him and thanking God for having him alive and recovered.
When Dr. Tirosh looked at the echo she smiled and said, “This looks so good it’s unbelievable! This kid is lucky!” I replied, “No, doctor, Zhya is our miracle boy!” She smiled and followed saying, indeed our huge, miracle boy! Mom was extremely happy to hear how satisfied the doctor was with the results.
Zhya’s mom, full of happiness, asked for pictures with the doctor and told her many times how thankful she was to her and the whole hospital team. We will miss this beautiful boy, and we will miss his mother, but we will always remember what a miracle he is and what a wonderful God we serve!
It was such a pleasure to accompany smiley Zhya and his joyful mum to Sheba today.
Zhya needed a blood test and an echo. For Zhya blood tests are very stressful as his veins are difficult to locate. Today Zhya needed extra support from the team in the ER in order for his blood test to be carried out. After a lot of poking and prodding and screaming, the doctors were able to find a vein in the palm of Zhya’s hand.
Zhya’s mother was so wonderful with him throughout the experience which for any mother to witness must be traumatic.
We then had quite a wait until Zhya’s echo but this gave Zhya a good amount of time to calm down and to play. It was also great in enabling Zhya’s mother and I some time to talk and share with each other. Zhya is the youngest of 6 children. His oldest brother works in translation from Kurdish to English and we were able to talk on video chat for a while. Zhya’s mum is dreaming about his return party where she wants there to be traditional Kurdish dress and dancing.
Praise God, Zhya’s echo looked good and the doctor said that at the time of his next echo in 2 weeks from now, it is very likely that Zhya will be able to return home to Kurdistan.
We really are so thankful to God for stepping in and making a way for Zhya, his life is such a gift.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding…”
It is a real joy to see how God has answered our prayers about Zhya. It is impossible not to love him and his mother, and so we all were hoping that today’s echo would bring us good news. He has been really well at home, and so I was so happy to hear from the doctor the confirmation that his heart is looking very good, and the function seems to be improving.
It was a pleasure to share the news with the brother of Zhya on the phone who speaks very good English. He couldn’t stop his face from breaking out into a big smile, and I know he must feel the relief and joy to know that God has done a miracle in this precious life. Zhya has a family who really cares about him so deeply, and love him. He also enjoyed a video chat with his brother as you can see in the photo.
I was very touched by the words of the doctor as she described how so many of the medical team had expected that Zhya would die during surgery, but that the head surgeon had felt that there was a reasonable chance for Zhya’s life, and he carried out the operation. “And he was right!” the doctor said.
Praise God; we often pray “God, please give wisdom to the doctors, fill them with your spirit of wisdom”, and so today I felt like we saw the outcome of God’s response to our prayers in Zhya’s life. The outlook for Zhya is so far looking really positive. He will have another echo in 2 weeks, and also we will arrange a hearing test for him. We are so happy to have back with us for another few weeks as the medical team want to be completely sure that there is no issue developing with Zhya’s heart.
Please praise God with us for this miracle and for giving his wisdom to the doctor.
Miracle! It was the first word one of the cardiologists said when we went into the echo room today! I think it was one the greatest moments I’ve ever had in all my time here! Zhya is a living miracle.
The doctor explained to us that just one of the cardiologist team members was willing to perform his very complex and risky operation because of the high pressure in his lungs and the congenital heart disease he was suffering. But the doctor said that they are so happy their colleague was right. The first 42 hours were very critical and decisive for his life, he could have died during this time.
Today everything was ready for Zhya to be discharged, but we had to wait for blood results and the last echo report which looked very good except for very little liquid. But again the doctor said, “miracle.”
His mother said today at Noora’s farewell party that the Lord Jesus heard all our prayers and healed him! His mother is very happy and just can’t believe he is alive. We have been praying for him all this time and before He had the surgery I told her: “Zhya is a Kurdish warrior and the Lord is going to protect his life.” Now he is home with us! Please continue praying for his recovery, as he is not eating well. Again! Miracles can happen today!
Today was a complete joy to see our beautiful Zhya sitting on his bed in the ICU and smiling like always. I really have no words to describe my happiness when I saw him. I was so thankful to God for Zhya’s life. He is a real miracle – his surgery had a large chance of having many complications, but today God reminded me that He is bigger than anything. He is God, He is real, and he loves his children.
His mom was very happy; when she saw me she gave me a big hug and a beautiful smile. A few days ago he was extubated and he was doing well. Today he is going to be moved to the secondary ICU.
Please keep our handsome Zhya and his Mom in your prayers. Pray for completely healing and a fast return to Kurdistan with his mom. Also join with me in giving thanks to God for this miracle, and also remember that nothing is impossible – nothing!
Today we went to visit Zhya in the hospital; the day after his surgery. It was almost 24 hours after he came out from the surgery at the time when I saw him – we are always told how this is the most critical time. So despite having prayed so much for Zhya, I was still a bit apprehensive about going to visit him after this very high risk surgery.
Thank God that the report was good from his mum and also from the medical team. Zhya hadn’t had any incidents during the night, and his little body was stable and doing well. Praise God for this amazing work! I felt the relief, and was so happy to share this joy with Zhya’s mum as well. She was happy and bright today and very chatty.
The medical team plan to reduce one of his sedation medications, and are hopeful that he can be extubated soon, maybe even tomorrow.
Praise God for his protection over Zhya during these critical hours and please continue to intercede for the life and health of Zhya. Please also ask God to pour out his peace into Zhya’s mum here in Israel, and his family in Kurdistan, esepcially for his father who is unwell, and for his brother who we have spoken with often to help with translation.
Its clear just how loved Zhya is by his family. He is a precious boy, and thank God for his favour over his life in these last days.
Last night the ICU called Georgia to ask her if we could bring Zhya in tonight. This was a bit of a surprise, especially because they didn’t ask to see him tomorrow, but immediately. Jonathan then took Zhya and his mum to Sheba to meet with the doctor to discuss their options which were the following: have the surgery this morning , but with a serious amount of risk involved because of his high lung pressure, or don’t have the surgery, and leave him in his current state of relatively good health, but his life expectancy would not be very long. The surgery, some of the doctors in the conference surmised, was actually so risky that there was a chance he could die in the operating room. His mom called his family to discuss, and in the end they decided to do the surgery, because they wanted to give him the best chance of longer and healthier life.
They kept him overnight at the hospital, then, and slated him for surgery today. His sweet mum was inconsolable, understandably. One thing that helped her was Taman’s uncle also staying in the hospital to be with his sister-in-law and nephew, so it was a blessing for him to be there for support and translation during this time. The wait was agonizing especially because she knew the risk. She constantly prayed, her eyes were never dry, and at one point motioned that she wanted to smash her phone, fling her water across the room, and beat the air because of how much she wanted to see Zhya.
After about five hours the surgeon came out to tell us the surgery was finished. They had been able to do the procedure, but, he continued, these next 48 hours are extremely critical and still very risky because it all depends how his body reacts to the operation. Zhya isn’t out of the woods yet, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to ask God for a miracle for Zhya. When I think of what the surgeon said, I can feel like I’m asking too much of God, but of course this isn’t true. So tonight, we’re asking the King to work a miracle for Zhya. Whether or not complete healing comes, this is what we are asking for. And also please intercede for his mother, who doesn’t have the usually solace of knowing her child has come out of surgery with a hopeful recovery ahead, she is still crying out on behalf Zhya, and we along with her, but also we cry out for her; we ask for the knowledge of God’s character to be her strength, He is unfailingly good and loving, and the only one who can get her through this time.
I would like to start Zhya’s blog by thanking God for his protection. When I walked into his room today, his mum wasn’t paying attention for a second, and Zhya suddenly fell out of his bed. Headlong. So when he banged with his head against the floor, I was so shocked and just thinking, “Something really really bad just happened.” He was crying and bleeding out of his nose. But suddenly after five minutes he stopped crying and behaved like nothing had happened at all (I took the below picture after the accident). Thank you God that he didn’t get hurt badly; thank you for your protection!
The good news is that Zhya had a successful cath and was discharged today. Still the doctors don’t know yet if he can have surgery, so they will sit together to talk about what’s best for him. If it will be the case that he can have surgery, it will be a high risk surgery because of his high lung pressure. So please pray that the doctors will have wisdom to decide wisely. Zhya’s life depends on that.
Julio and I had the pleasure of meeting Zhya and his mum at the airport this evening. Their journey seemed to have been relatively smooth, and they arrived with their bags.
Zhya has a diagnosis of AV canal, as well as Down Syndrome. We have a lovely little cohort of children with these diagnoses here at the moment. Praise God that Zhya was in a good condition when we met. He was smiley and happy and he tolerated me checking his oxygen levels etc so nicely. Of course also, he enjoyed having his photo taken; what a beautiful smile he has! It is a joy to be able to share some pictures of this special boy with you!
His mum also, was so lovely. She brought some delicious biscuits as a gift, and was so enthusiastic about being here in Israel. As we left the airport the sun had set, and cast beautiful purple and red clouds all over the skyline.
It is a pleasure and an honour to welcome this happy family to Israel. Please pray that Zhya will find healing here for his heart, and that he and his family will be blessed with the knowledge of the God of this land.