Yousif spoke with the doctor today and got an update about Rafif’s condition. She has been in the hospital for many months now. The doctor explained that her body is struggling, and her condition is deteriorating, including a problem with her kidneys. At the moment, they are monitoring her condition, but if there is no change, they would start to prepare to send her back home to a hospital in Gaza. One of the steps involved with this would be to give her a tracheostomy. Rafif’s grandma understood the information, and was quite upset today. She has stood by her grand daughter for all these months and it feels like she is desperately trying to make it through until another family member can replace her as Rafif’s guardian. It has been so tiring and she has given her very best to this beautiful girl. It seems a sad situation for Rafif, and her grandma shed some tears today. Please pray that she and Rafif will both know the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit at this time.
Today was the first time for me to visit Rafif in the hospital. Rafif, an adorable little girl, is here accompanied by her Grandmother.
As I was watching Rafif sleep, my attention was drawn to her grandmother. She had rolled out her prayer rug and began praying and I sensed she was doing this with her whole heart. She was interrupted however when we were asked to exit the room for a short time so that an X-ray could be taken in another room. Immediately after we were allowed to go back to Rafif’s room however, she continued in the same posture to pray.
I consider Rafif’s Grandmother an example for me, the way she was praying in earnest in this big and difficult situation. I thought that I have much to learn still on the importance of prayer, not only in the big and difficult situations of life but even in the little struggles because I know that my Redeemer lives and He is faithful to hear us! Amen!
written by Tabitha
Beautiful Rafif had a pacemaker implantation today. Her grandmother cried after she went in for the surgery. Rafif came here when she was ten days old, now she has spent most of her short life in the hospital away from her mum and dad. I was with a volunteer, Mary, who met Rafif for the first time today, and although I’ve grown accustomed to seeing her in this state, Mary couldn’t believe how small and fragile she was, she looked as if she is clinging to life.
Even after the successful surgery, there was no optimism in her grandmother, only devotion to the cause of her life, whatever the outcome. Rafif is still very unwell. We’ve been trying to encourage her to come for a day to stay at the Jaffa base, if only for a few hours, but grandma doesn’t want to leave the hospital without Rafif because if she does, she’ll only be able to think of her granddaughter.
The time we got to spend together was really nice, there were other Palestinian women, Abdulsalam’s grandmother, and at one point Dleza and her brother Talal, all sitting together. At one point I heard grandma Abdulsalam explain that I was a Christian to the other women, and I elaborated that Shevet was a Christian organisation, we do what we do because of the Messiah. It’s an honour to point to him, but also it’s just truthful.
Please appeal to Jesus to heal Rafif, and bless her body and comfort her grandmother.
Our little beautiful Rafif creates a mixture of feelings whenever I see her. Today I met Rafif’s doctor and I asked him about the results from a scheduled procedure. Sadly he told me that they weren’t able to perform this procedure, because little Rafif’s Glucose level went down. My heart dropped as I heard the news. I prayed and hoped for at least a little improvement in Rafif’s case and this did not sound like an improvement.
Still, the doctor hadn’t finished on his update. As he continued I got reminded of God’s control in every life. Rafif took on a surgery yesterday, in which the doctors were able to remove the infected pacemaker device and clean the wound. Looking at Rafif, this beautiful but so tiny child, I was amazed how Rafif kept fighting for her life. God carries her through and I can’t put into words how much strength I felt looking at Rafif. Our almighty father does not forget about his children, he is in control of every single life. We may not understand why things are happening a certain way but there is no doubt that God knows what he is doing. Rafif is alive and fighting against the disease in her body and there is hope. This little girl has a future and God is controlling and forming it in the most beautiful way.
Please pray for Rafif that she will get to experience this amazing future that God has planned for her.
Within seconds of entering the room, Rafif had stolen a place in my heart. Watching this little baby from the bedside, I was struck by how beautiful she was. In some ways it’s hard to take in, watching this precious little girl surrounded by tubes and monitors.
Outside, the doctor explained she has been reintubated because of her infection. My heart dropped a little at this – we were hoping for better news.
“For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
It’s a times like this I need to be reminded of God’s immense power and unending love. He is there in every breath Rafif takes, she is fearfully and wonderfully made in his image, and he loves her deeply.
Please pray for Rafif and her family. Pray that the infection will not spread any further, pray that her condition will improve quickly and pray that the peace of God would surround her.
Today when we entered Rafif’s room his grandmother was fixing the mobile she had hung over the bed as Rafif was looking around and being very alert. The grandmother was looking excited and we found out that the nurses were planning on extubating Rafif as she had improved over the weekend.
This is such an answer to prayer as we had received different information from different staff members, some optimistic, some sad. We spent some time with Rafif and her grandmother and I introduced our new volunteer Joela to the amazing nursing and medical care that they provide at the Sheba paediatric cardiac ICU.
When I returned in the afternoon I found a different looking Rafif. Her face was no longer covered in tape to protect her from the tubing and for the first time I could properly see her beautiful face. A face that yes is jaundice but so peaceful compared to the last time I saw her.
We pray this improvement will continue and that Rafif and her grandmother will return home soon.
God has been gracious today; fortunately we have good news about Rafif! Even though her face looks somewhat yellow-ish, the nurse told us that she is improving and the fluid in her lungs has decreased. God willing, the drainage will be taken out tomorrow.
For now, Rafif is still in the ICU, as she continues to have fluid in her abdomen and her liver is not functioning sufficiently, hence the yellow skin.
Let us thank God for this improvement and keep praying for Rafif and her family, especially her grandma, who is getting increasingly tired. May God bring healing to Rafif’s heart and be glorified in her life so that the whole family may see His mighty hand.
Sweet Rafif is still in ICU, and nothing really has changed since her surgery. The very slow improvement of her health is requesting a lot of patience of her grandma, who is with her, as well as for us as volunteers. It can be hard to watch a child going through all the ups and downs of recovering, constantly hoping and praying for them to recover. And then nothing happens. Or it seems like nothing happens. And at the same moment you are reminded of the loving, all sovereign and powerful God we have, who knows all things, who has created all things and who has the perfect plan for each precious life. Isn’t that wonderful?
Little newborn Rafif remains very ill in the ICU at Sheba after her initial pacemaker placement, followed by a palliative but emergent heart surgery just a few days later. As you see, she is on the ventilator and requiring much support, including medications for sedation and blood pressure.
Rafif’s hospital course has been a variable one, marked by periods of stability and progress, interspersed with deterioration and the need for resuscitation and increased support. One of the PICU Nurse Supervisors told us yesterday that they suspect that Rafif may have as-yet unidentified underlying genetic or metabolic abnormalities complicating her situation.
Rafif’s grandma remains at the hospital, hopeful for improvement and thankful for all that is being done. She is open and appreciative of visits. It is obvious that sh loves this baby. May our Father cradle Rafif and her family in his loving arms.