116 days after arriving in Israel, waiting for Saida to grow in order to safely undergo his congenital heart defect surgery and after weeks of waiting for him to recover from various challenges along his hospital journey, the cardiologist joyfully delivered the news that Saida would finally be cleared to return to Kurdistan. Many hugs and words of congratulations were exchanged.
Saida grows every day. Upon his arrival, he weighed 3.4 kilograms. Today he weighed in at 5.3 kilograms which is wonderful progress. His mother showed us photos of Saida at the park and also when he recently turned 6 months old. Saida is becoming a young boy who smiles often and who dearly loves how his mother softly sings to him. Our prayer is that he would continue to grow and to flourish, physically and spiritually.
Please pray for Saida and his mother as they explore Jerusalem on Tuesday. May they find truth that allows them to flourish in hope, peace, and love.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5
Our team arrived at the hospital this morning with great expectations that Saida and another baby would be having their last/discharge echocardiogram. Despite Saida’s echo being good the paediatric cardiologist was being cautious. After very carefully checking that the heart rhythms were good and asking if Saida’s vital signs, especially temperature, were normal she announced that she wanted to keep Saida for another 1 to 2 weeks. This was to ensure that the VSD patch, which appeared a little strange, was just an anomaly and nothing sinister like an infection.
During the consultation Saida’s mother remained very calm and accepting of the doctor’s considered stance. Both of them were able to laugh together because the doctor had created an easy environment in which questions were welcomed and answered with respect. Isn’t this what our heavenly Father invites us to participate in? A relationship where we feel safe to ask the hard questions and sometimes receive the hard answers. Those hard answers are always in our best interests even if we don’t realise it at the time. Saida’s mother was satisfied that today’s decision was made with her son’s best interests at the heart of it all.
Our job back at Jaffa headquarters is to keep observing that this gorgeous little boy remains afebrile. As well, to continue with treatment of Vitamin D and iron, which is an Israeli practice up to 1 year old. Saida’s next echo is 6th October and we remain expectant that this will be his discharge echo.
Praise God for the gift of good health in Saida’s life. After waiting for such a long time, we were told today that Saida has been without a temperature for over 48 hours, and is able to come back home to stay here with the other families.
Some other good news is that the cardiologist said his echo from today showed that his heart was looking very good, and continues without pericardial effusion, which the mother has been worried about.
As Moshe and I arrived at the hospital to collect Saida and his mother, we were greeted by the brother of Dliza, who also has been in the hospital for quite some time. As always, he was extremely cheery, kind and helpful, carrying Saida’s bags down to the car, and even returning the ICU card upstairs, all with a beautiful brotherly attitude.
Thank God for lovely Saida’s safe return from the hospital in excellent health. Please pray that he continues to be well and that he and his mother can return home soon to Kurdistan.
Fortunately Saida is doing better since medical staff found out what type of bacteria caused the infection and he was able to receive a good antibiotic. The nurses are hoping that the medication will bring the fever down. If he is okay in the next three days he might be allowed to leave the hospital! Please pray that the medication works well!
We all hope the time in hospital can end soon because they have been there for a very long time. The mother really misses her home and her family. But she is quite patient and cares excellently for her little son. Saida is one of the cutest boys in the world and he just loves to discover the hospital through his widely opened eyes and carried by his mum. Please continue to pray for mother and son!
Our beautiful little Saida keeps us worried. After his surgery he recovered very fast and was close to being discharged but then the hope got crushed, because Saida started having a fever due to an infection. Since then we had to visit Saida in the secondary ICU. His mom would love to go home, since she first had to wait a long time for Saida to gain enough weight and now they have to wait again. Still the sun keeps breaking through, Saida was able to stop needing mechanical breathing help, which is an amazing progress. Still the infection keeps his mom and Saida waiting. Even though his mom has been in the hospital for so long and misses her family so badly, she never leaves Saida’s side she takes him wherever she goes. Adding to that his mom fights for Saida’s well-being with all her heart, trying to understand everything that is happening to Saida. Due to the language differences this understanding is much more difficult for Saida’s mom and for the nurses to explain it properly. Please continue praying for Saida’s health, that the infection will go away and that Saida’s mom will be filled with peace.
A Gift of God - Saida’s Recovery
Saida – and especially Saida‘s weight – has been on our prayers list for an incredibly long time. So it has been his mom’s worry as well. As we went to see recovering Saida, we found his mom outside of her room still looking very worried. She wanted us to talk to the doctor about Saida’s echo immediately. It was clear to see how scared and worried Saida’s mom was. The doctor told us with a smile that his echo showed no fluids in his lungs and that Saida is recovering perfectly.
This news made me very happy but Saida’s mom still looked very worried. As if she couldn’t believe that the surgery she waited for for so long had worked out perfectly. The immense love you felt from Saida’s mom was very touching. This woman showed the perfect picture of a Mom Warrior who is willing to fight for her child, no matter what the cost is. Still I hope that she will be able to feel the joy of this beautiful gift.
Please pray for Saida’s recovery but also for Saida’s mom that she will see the gift of God that she received and rejoice and celebrate this beautiful progress.
Gratitude for a Long-Awaited Surgery
Yesterday evening after Shabbat, Saida’s mother called me and wanted me to translate what the doctor was saying to her. She said, “Tara, I don’t understand.” The nurse told me, “Saida is able to have his surgery tomorrow.” I translated this and the mother of Saida was happy when she heard this news.
Today Sonia and I went early to Sheba. We came to the room and there he was with his mother smiling. Saida looked so happy and also his mother. It was wonderful to see that both of them were happy.
After a few hours of waiting, it was time for the surgery. The doctors asked some questions to the mother and then they took Saida for surgery. His mother was sad but so grateful, that Saida was finally having surgery. Everyone was so kind and this made his mother calm. The doctor asked for some words in Kurdish like, ”thank you” and “good luck.”
After a few hours, the doctors came out and said that everything is fine. Later at 8 pm we could go and see Saida. Saida was fine and the mother of Saida looked calm and glad.
Today was a long day but a very good day for everyone. We, including Saida’s special mother, had a feeling of gratefulness in our hearts.
Waiting for Surgery to Be Scheduled
Saida had a positive echo today but it was still difficult for his mother as there is no surgery scheduled as yet. Saida is now a happy baby and is putting on weight beautifully to the point where the doctors feel confident enough to put him on the surgical list. While this is just one small step in getting a date for surgery it is an important step and we hope to have good news in the near future. Saida has changed in the time he has been in Israel from a frail, scrawny, fractious baby to a laughing, smiling delight. It has been a long slow process with continuous feeds being given to Saida via a nasogastric tube which is now slowly being transitioned to bottle feeds but it has taken a toll on Saida’s mother during the long days and nights.
Please pray that Saida continues to put on weight and remains happy and healthy while staying in the hospital. If he continues to do so well it may be possible for them to return home to Jaffa prior to his surgery rather than staying the entire time in the hospital. Please also pray that Saida’s mother is encouraged by the news as in her disappointment and sadness she has been talking of returning to Kurdistan if there is no surgery in the near future.
Once Sonia and I had finished the appointments of the day, I went to visit baby Saida, who is in the pediatric ward. It seems he has grown so much since I saw him last week! His beautiful mum asked me to stay with him awhile so she could quickly wash up. These few minutes were so special; when Saida was at the house he was always swaddled blankets or sleeping, but today I got to hold him and play with him, as his mum washed up. Once she was done she took him and gave him a bottle, she seemed slightly on edge, and when she had a video call from Kurdistan she started to cry. Today, she really struggled, she said to me that if he doesn’t have surgery next week she wants to go back to Kurdistan. Jesus has His purposes and His own timing, but He wants us to pray and petition him for things, so please ask the Father for Saida to continue to gain weight and for surgery to be within the next few weeks.
For a few minutes Saida’s mum and I sat together, held hands and cried. We cried for home, and for the uncertainty of the future. Amidst the pain, I thank God for this moment because the Spirit connected us in a special way. He allowed me to feel with her, and for those moments I hope she knew, at least, she wasn’t alone, and never will be. There is a particular prayer that I love written by Anna Waring, and part of it perfectly summarizes this day with Saida and his mum:
“I ask Thee for a thoughtful love, through constant watching wise, to meet the glad with joyful smiles and to wipe the weeping eyes; and a heart a leisure from itself to soothe and sympathize.”
Saida has been at the hospital for more than one week. We came here because of a urine infection he had and then the doctors wanted him to stay at the hospital. The doctors have tried to feed little Saida so he can gain weight and it has been successful! Now we are waiting for him to weigh a total of 5 kilos so he is strong enough for surgery.
I really miss Saida and his mom at our Shevet home. He is such a handsome and sweet boy. I was really thankful to God. He reminds me every day that His times are perfect and that He has everything in control. Saida has been in the hospital for nine days now and he was admitted for a possible urinary infection. But now he is in the hospital to gain weight and I’m really happy that he is there for this reason since it is the only thing that is stopping him from having surgery. Mom is really amazed but she feels afraid that her baby is not going to gain weight soon. However he is doing really well. Saida is sharing a room with our Ali and both moms are having a great time together, supporting each other beautifully. It’s a blessing for both moms to be together.
When I was with them the nurse came and weighed him at 4.4kg. It’s amazing to see he is gaining weight and now he only needs to gain 600 grams more. God can make a miracle and he can achieve this before we think. He has an NG tube to help with the weight gain and he is also feeding normally.
He is smiling and big, and I’m so happy. But Mom looks tired and a little hopeless. Please pray for Mom to have peace and hope. And also for our sweet Saida, that soon he can have his surgery and can come back home with good results.
Saida’s mother told us in the morning that he was in bad condition. Saida had a fever all night and had difficulty breathing. So we decided to go to the Emergency Room at the hospital. The doctors checked the breathing and the oxygen and then they needed to take some blood testes. And here it started to be tough – the doctors could not find the right vessels in Saida’s body. They tried for about one hour and finally they did it. Saida and his mother cried a lot and his mother wanted to stop with everything and just go home. Margarita and I prayed a lot for her and Saida.
After the blood tests, we waited for the doctor to see us again. We had a long wait. After about two hours they wanted a urine sample test. This went much easier! After all the tests, we met the cardiologist. He performed an echo and then some more blood testes. He told us that everything was fine with Saida but that his mother should observe him and see how he feels. Saida’s mother was very happy that everything was well with Saida and that she and her baby could go home and rest.
Today we took our sweet Saida and his mom to the hospital for a follow-up with his cardiologist. Mom was a little anxious to know how many kilos her precious baby has gained this past week. During our waiting at the hospital he fell asleep in my arms; but before going to sleep he gave us a lot of smiles. He is so lovely.
Finally they called us. They performed an ECG, and he cried a little but the nurse who performed it was very nice with him. She tried to talk with him and he gave her lots of smiles! She also took his vital signs and of course she weighed him. He gained 100 grams this week and 300 grams in the last 2 weeks; Mom wasn’t completely happy as she had hoped for more than that.
After they finished the echo he cried again but we tried to sing, talk and feed him to calm him down. When the doctor came she was really happy about his progress; his echo was good and he is gaining weight. I was very happy that Tara was with us and she was able to translate everything between Mom and the doctor. We told the doctor every concern and question that Mom had but the doctor thinks that he is going to be ready soon for his surgery and that he is doing well. His follow-up is going to be in one month and in two days he will have a nutrition appointment.
Please pray for Mom, Saida and their family in Kurdistan in this time of waiting. I know that waiting is not easy, but the timing of God is perfect. Please also pray that both have a good time in our house, that the waiting will go by quickly, and that he can gain weight faster that we think.
Praise God for His Good Works
Praise God for the good work He is doing in Saida’s life. Today we went to Sheba for a quick weigh-in and ECG with the doctor as Saida needs to grow before he will be able to have his surgery here in Israel. Over the past week Saida has put on 200 grams which when you are still a very small baby is a good weight gain for 1 week.
The doctor wants to see Saida again in n one weeks time in order for him to have an echo and another review of his weight. Please pray that he continues this pattern of good weight gain and that feeding time becomes a joy for mum and baby.
Deborah continues the report:
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
Waiting can be an excruciating experience! It certainly has been challenging for the mom of beautiful little Saida, as he needs to be of a higher weight in order to have his heart surgery.Today at Saida’s doctor visit and weight check, he had gained 200 grams (about 6.5 ounces) in the past week. Yay! His ECG and oxygen levels were stable.
The past few days, Saida has shown a bit less interest in eating, and has developed an aversion to the supplement being given to add extra calories. He has some nasal congestion and a small cough. This has increased mom’s anxiety level as she worries about him reaching his goal weight “in time”, before his heart decompesats further.
Please pray with us that Saida would eat well, begin to like his extra calories, and avoid any respiratory illnesses (so very common in these fragile babies with heart problems). Please lift up Saida’s mom, for patience and grace— and for more positive news at next weeks’ visit and echocardiogram!
Today we took our beautiful Saida to the hospital for a follow-up with his cardiologist. I was really hoping that Saida had grown these last two weeks and also mom was really anxious for this appointment. He is really a sweet and handsome boy.
When we arrived to the hospital they performed an ECG and an echo, and checked vital signs. He was very brave and such a good boy; he didn’t cry in any of these procedures. After that the doctor came and checked him. I was very happy that our translator was able to explain everything to mom and asked all the questions to the doctor that mom wanted. We spent a long time with the doctor discussing Saida because he has a really complex heart and he needs a big surgery. However he needs to gain enough weight to have a safe surgery. Doctor gave to mom some recommendations but we really don’t know how long it will take. In two weeks he has gained around 270 grams.
Doctor was very happy that his ECG showed that he doesn’t have arrhythmia anymore. This issue was fixed when he arrived to Israel as an emergency baby. Mom was really sad when she heard that he needs to gain more weight. He needs to go to the hospital next week to check his weight again and in two weeks he will have an appointment with the nutritionist. Please pray for Mom and Dad – for peace in their hearts and for wisdom to make the best decision about whether to stay here until he has enough weight to have his surgery or maybe return to Kurdistan and wait there. Also pray for Saida for a miracle in his little and beautiful life.
Today our sweet Saida had a blood test. He was really brave when the nurse put the needle in his arm – he only cried a little bit but with the beautiful voice of his mom he stopped crying. Mom was a little worried because a few days ago when he was in the hospital the doctor told to her that he needs to gain weight – that’s means he must be 5 kilos before he can have surgery.
So, she asked me if we could weigh him again and I asked one of the nurses for her. He gained a few more grams but I think this is good even though it is small. And also we believe in a God that makes a lot of miracles. His Mom was a little disappointed as she wished that her baby was heavier. Thank the Lord he is gaining some weight – slowly, but still it is gaining.
We asked if we can give him something to help with the weight, but for now, they said that we need to wait for his next echo in a week’s time and the doctors are going to decide what is the next step. My mom had a lovely time with Saida and his mom. She had him in her arms for a long time and he was so content he fell asleep. Please pray for this beautiful baby, for a miracle in his life and also for peace in his mom’s heart.
Normally the news of a child being discharged is nothing but joyful. But not in this case. Our sweet little two months old Saida has just arrived to Israel four days ago. The trouble is that he is way too light and the doctors decided that they won’t operate on him until he gains 2 kilos. When the nurses said that this might take three months, Saida’s mum burst into tears. I felt so sorry for her as her eyes looked so sad as if she was saying, “Can’t you do something?” She explained that she isn’t sure if her baby can gain so much weight.
We really need spiritual support in this situation. Please pray for wisdom to make the right decisions for Saida and that this little one will grow.
“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10, 27
Saida is a 51 day-old boy with a transposed great arteries from Kurdistan, northern Iraq. He arrived this afternoon with his mother and we escorted them straight from the airport to the ICU at Sheba hospital. Very early in the morning everyone of our team was praying for them, especially for a safe and stable journey. As we picked them up at the airport, we were waiting around one hour for them. When we saw them we couldn’t stop running to them and gave them a big hug. Thank the Lord, as we reached the ICU everything was ready for him. Saida and his mom were very exhausted and so hungry. Usually due to his illness, he is not drinking properly. But God sent an Israeli Russian nurse who was very experienced and was able to feed him. So the medical staff started to perform all of the different procedures, like the blood test, a chest x-ray, an ECG and stabilizing him.
It was very beautiful to see how all of the our families who are hospitalized in the ICU and secondary ICU, warmly welcomed the new mom and how they showed her around. I also was very thankful that our translator was with her all the time. So, he was able to give all the information the staff needed and he also explained everything to the mom.
Please pray for Saida, for the best plan for him and wisdom for the medical staff. Please also pray for peace in the mom’s heart in this moment far away from home.