I have been glad to be with Shakar’s mum again at the hospital today.
When Tara and I were in our way to the hospital we felt very anxious and sad. We were uncertain about what could happen during the night. We put some worship songs on in the car and started to pray. Finally we arrived to the hospital. Georgia and Julio were with Shakar’s mom. When she saw us, she started to cry, this broke our hearts. She was holding Shakar’s pants in her hands.
The doctor told us that anything could happen, because Shakar was really unstable. I had a lot of fears in my heart. It was also hard for Tara when Shakar’s mom approached his bed, and started to cry and say to herself many words in her own language, that Tara could understand.
I had my eyes on the monitor, observing his vital signs. Although he is with medication that supports his heart, on a machine that’s breathing for him, has now a stoma (because his intestines are in a really bad condition), and he is still experiencing some bleeding through his nose and rectum–his heart is still beating. He is still alive!
Mom was really tired, she fell asleep, and Tara and I experienced an unexplained peace. Later we tried to encourage Shakar’s mom to eat something, and we were able to chat with her, and experienced mixed feelings. We cried, we laughed, but we had peace. Shakar’s mom kept asking me all the time to go to sleep. I told her, I would sleep if she would too. Praise the Lord, we slept around three hours in the little couch close to Shakar’s bed, while Tara was trying to be awake if something might happen, but eventually she also fell asleep.
I was really happy to hear that there are people all over the world praying for them and for us also. Thanks for your prayers, we really felt them last night. Shakar didn’t crash during the night. The doctors told us that he had a good night, even better that they expected. I have hope, and I know that the will of our Father is perfect. He gives but He also takes away.
I really hope that Shakar can survive, but in a good condition, not with suffering. God can breathe into dry bones, so I lift up this situation to God. He loves Shakar and I know that He is going to do what is best for him and for his mom. I only want to pray for His perfect will in this little baby, and for strength for his mom, his family and for us. I know that He is a good God, He is never far. We are going to praise Him because he is going to do what is best, for our good and for His Glory.
We got news early this morning that Shakar from Kurdistan was due to be taken into an emergency surgery in Israel today. The hospital staff had seen blood coming from nose, mouth and also in his nappy, and so he was taken into surgery to look at the bowel.
The surgeons came to speak with Shakar’s mother after some time, and told her that they had seen that the intestines were in such a poor state, that they were unable to resolve the issue by removing a small damaged section, but they had to create a stoma for Shakar’s digestive system instead.
They explained it is likely that the poor function of the heart has caused the failure of the bowel, and that it indicated that it wouldn’t be possible for Shakar’s body to sustain life for very much longer. The doctor said that if Shakar lives, it is going to be a miracle.
Mum understood this information, and broke down in tears. As they brought Shakar past in his bed, mum followed back up to the ICU.
We stopped to pray for this sweet baby and his mum. We prayed for the name and blood of Jesus to be proclaimed and spoken over Shakar’s life. We prayed that God will take care of him and have mercy on him. We prayed for wisdom for the medical staff, and we thanked God for always being here with us.
I spent the rest of the day with Shakar’s mum. Sometimes with Tara, and later with Julio.
After some time, Shakar’s mum felt that she could leave the room as the nurses continued to work on him to have a drink. During this time we were called back, as Shakar had crashed and needed CPR. The room was full of people, all standing around the bed of little Shakar. The doctor explained to us that Shakar is very unstable, and that his body and heart are in a very bad state. They were working constantly to assess and provide everything which they can: x-ray, cannula, medicine, blood transfusion…
His mother was beautiful during this whole time. She is deeply upset, as she held some of his pyjamas to her face as she sobbed. She is also balancing this with communication with her husband and family back in Kurdistan. She is an amazing mother, and as her heart is breaking for Shakar, it is like she has given up hope for his life.
It would be easy to give up hope, as I stood and watched as dark brown blood start to bubble from his nose, and his larger-than-ever abdomen rising under the heat lamp, and the skin on his arm start to become mottled… But then I think back to the little ones from the past months who have lived, against the odds…I thought about what the doctors said about needing a miracle, and I thought about the King of Kings, My Father in heaven, the God of miracles… So amongst my prayers, came my hopeful glimmer of a phrase to God: “… but what if he lives?”
Diana and Tara came later to take over, they are staying the night with Shakar and his mum in the hospital. Diana stood next to me at the side of Shakar’s bed, and as Tara held the mother, Diana held my hand and said “I have hope.”
So, tonight please please surround Shakar and his mum with your prayers for a healing miracle, and for peace and strength. We know that nothing is impossible for God.
Shakar was very distressed today. We received a call from Tara our translator to say that Shakar was to go for an echo and could we meet him there as his mother was quite upset by what was happening. We got to Shakar as quickly as possible, unfortunately missing the echo but managing to spend a considerable time with them. The good news was the echo showed Shakar’s heart has been unaffected by his illness.
Poor little Shakar. It broke my heart to see him so distressed with his patient mother so calm and loving. Shakar has been stable since his hospital admission but so underweight for his age the concern is he will tire and develop respiratory distress.
Dear friends, even as I was writing Shakar’s update we received a phone call from the hospital saying that they were concerned about his breathing. Diana and Tara have gone into the hospital despite it being so late to assist Shakar’s mother as it is possible he may need respiratory support. Please pray that this beautiful little boy who is so precious will make a full recovery and continue on to have his cath and surgery as planned. Now more than ever he needs your prayers and support.
Today our beautiful 10 month old baby boy Shakar was readmitted into the Sheba paediatric ward. He had been well for a few days after his hospital admission for adenovirus last week but yesterday again came down with a high fever. Not as ill looking as last week we decided to wait until the daily hospital run to take him in to be checked.
At Sheba hospital we were promptly seen and after a few tests they quickly decided that Shakar needed to be admitted. We were very glad about this as at the start of the day Shakar looked happy and alert but with a high fever. As the day progressed Shakar became increasingly listless, uninterested in drinking and his breathing became heavy and laboured. They are closely monitoring Shakar’s vital signs, especially his oxygen saturation which was much lower than normal and caused some concern. Shakar’s mother is very pleased to be back at the hospital and is extremely happy with the care that Shakar’s has received.
Now for some good news. On arriving at Shevet, Shakar’s weight was 5.2 kg which then dropped to 4.8 kg after his hospital stay. Already dangerously low, Shakar’s weight loss could have been catastrophic. Today, on admission Shakar’s weight was 5.7 kg which is a remarkable increase considering his illness.
Please pray that he can keep his Cath date and will not have to reschedule because of his illness. Please also pray for his mother as she has left her three older children in Kurdistan in a uncertain family situation and worries about them but needs to be with Shakar at this time.
A few days ago we brought our cute Shakar to the ER, as he was having a fever. He then was admitted because they figured out that he had a virus. They kept him in the hospital until he got over it.
Today Shakar was discharged. The nurse did a great job, explaining to us which medication he needs and that he is going to meet with the cardiologist in a week to get ready for his cath. The little one looked good, was smiling a lot. We spent a short but nice time in the hospital and quickly met Saida and his mum, Ali and his mum, as well as Mir’s dad. Please pray for Shakar that he will be protected and that he can have his cath soon.
After a good rest last night and meeting the rest of the Shevet families, little Shakar, just ten months old, had his first echo assessment today.
Shakar has Down Syndrome and is really small. He suffers from a complex congenital defect: “Single AV valve, medium ASD and mild pulmonary hypertension.” This is not very easy to understand for many of us, but what is important is that the Lord opened this door for him to be here in this very special time.
It was amazing but Shakar did not cry when the technician was doing the echo and other tests.
Later one of the cardiologists came and read the echo and told us that without a diagnostic cath they can not do a surgery. After a few minutes the doctor confirmed that they want to do the cath already tomorrow. It was a good surprise for all of us.
The hospital staff is amazing, always trying to help with all the paper work. We had to wait for the rooms to be ready before the admission so we took the kids down to the music room and they were so happy.
Please pray for comfort for Shakar’s mother and for the cath tomorrow.
Ten-month old Shakar reached Israel’s Ben Gurion airport safely today, and will have his first evaluation tomorrow at the Sheba Medical Center. Like many children with Down syndrome, he has the heart condition called “complete AV canal.” The ideal age for corrective surgery is six months, so we will pray that there is still time for doctors in Israel to help heal his heart.
Diana was on hand at the airport and adds:
Every time I go to the airport I have a lot of questions in my mind: how was their flight? Are they stable? How is the condition of the babies and their guardians?. But the best thing I can do is pray that everything is going to be fine! Julio and I were very early in the morning at the airport to pick up two new beautiful families from Kurdistan. We had to wait for them around an hour and half. Praise to the Lord they arrived safely. One of them is our sweet Shakar, he is so so little, he is 11 months old. Mom was very insecure that we were the real people waiting for them, but praise to the Lord Julio was able to speak with them in their own language. I checked them before leaving the airport, praise the lord Shakar was stable so we went home and the next day he is going to have his first echo assessment in Sheba hospital. Please keep this beautiful family in your prayers, that they will have a good time with us.