I was excited to see Omar and his mum today at the hospital. She is a really lovely person, and I know that the team yesterday shared that she had got quite emotional by the end of the surgery yesterday.
In the evening yesterday also, Ammar shared a prayer request from the father of Omar, asking for God to heal him, and also sharing the pain that he felt that he can’t travel to be with his son at this hard time.
So, it was a big joy when I met the mother of Omar and she brought me into the room. I could see that now he has been extubated and looking beautiful. His mum was so happy and I shared that we have all been praying for him. Thank God that he is holding Omar’s life in his hands.
Please continue to pray for Omar’s healing, and for peace for his family.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
The day had finally come for Omar’s surgery! After coming to Israel and finding out he had a virus that delayed the operation, his mum has been anticipating his Glenn procedure for a week and a half. For most of the day, his mum was with the other mother’s in hospital from Gaza, and this is a blessing because they form a supportive community for one another, and go through their children’s heart surgery as a group rather than alone. At one point Omar’s mom, Reem’s mom, Nyaz’s mum, Musa’s father and another mum from Gaza who didn’t come to Sheba through Shevet, were all congregated in the sitting area outside the ICU. They were talking and laughing; I found the level of comfort they found in one another beautiful.
In the last hour before the end of Omar’s surgery, his mum started to get agitated and nervous as it had been a long time since they took him into the operating room. But thankfully a nurse came out and told her the surgery was done, but she still needed to wait. And her joy was shared by Tara and I and also Reem’s mum. The rule is that once the child is taken out of the operating theater to their hospital room, it take about thirty minutes to stabilize them, and for this duration the parents are asked to stay in the waiting room. And while Omar’s mum didn’t actually enter his room while they were stabilizing him, she did get as close as possible to see her son, before going back to the waiting area. She is soft spoken and gentle, but incredibly fierce when it comes to Omar. So tonight we thank God for a successful surgery, and that Omar’s mum can rest knowing her son has had the surgery he needs.
He Turns the Bitter into Sweet
Omar has been in the hospital waiting for a surgery since last week and it was my honour and pleasure to visit him today.
Of course it’s not good for a child to need to be in the hospital, but as this is the only way we get to see these families from Gaza, it can feel like a lovely gift from God…He turns the bitter into sweet. When I realised that today that this “Omar” who I would be visiting is “Omar with the granddad who speaks good English” who was here in October last year, I just felt a rush of joy to be able to see him again. He was just a week old when he came to Sheba for his first operation, and I really remember him well. He was so tiny. I also have met him with his grandma at some stage over the winter time, and so today it was an immense privilege for me to finally be able to meet his mother, and to see how he has grown so much.
He is 9 months old! He is a beautiful and happy, alert and interactive little man, and his mum was really good company and fun to chat to. He has an older brother called Mohammed and we looked at lots of beautiful photos of the family.
Really, we have to praise God with thankful hearts that we are able to meet these lovely mothers, children and families. Especially also to share the joy which this mother has of having a family, and little Omar, who has lived all these months.
The mother of Omar also seems to have a lovely friendship with the mother of Reem, and they also welcomed another mum from Gaza who arrived today with her baby Mostafa. It’s so nice to feel the spirit of joy among these, as they experience hope and healing in the hospital here in Israel.
Please also pray for Omar; he has a virus at the moment which is delaying his surgery.