Joy as the Perfect Reward
It finally happened – little Sohaib was discharged! But this happy occasion started with a lot of confusion. When we arrived at the nurse station to pick up Sohaib‘s papers we were firstly told, that they didn’t know about Sohaib being discharged and they asked us to wait. So that’s what Colin and I did. After a while the doctor came to us and said that Sohaib will be discharged in about two hours. In order to deal with that, Colin and I started to build a logistical system, which would allow us to bring one family back to Shevet than come back to Sheba and than drive to Gaza and back. This plan would have involved long and draining car rides, but God took perfect care in making this task easier. Sohaib was suddenly discharged in about ten minutes, so we were able to only do one long ride which wasn’t as exhausting as the old plan.
But this wasn’t the only provision from God. As we told Sohaib‘s grandma about his discharge, her joy and happiness were the perfect reward for a hard day. Sohaib’s grandma asked us multiple times if she was really allowed to go home and her happy smile was amazing. She hugged us, smiled and kissed little Sohaib. Her joy gave us so much love and joy back. Now Sohaib is finally with his family reunited. Thank God for this amazing grandma and the life of little Sohaib.
There is a child’s bed and in it a very tiny, but also very strong baby. This was the first impression I got from little Sohaib as I entered the room. This boy hasn’t even lived a month but fights against his disease like a warrior. Shortly after his surgery Sohaib got transfered from the ICU to the pediatric wand. A true fighter. But the strength seems to run in the family, as we entered the room his grandmother smiled widely and welcomed us. While she constantly kept an eye on Sohaib, she started talking to us. During this conversation she showed us proudly pictures of her grandchildren. Even though she kept on smiling, you could see the sadness in her eyes especially as she showed us a picture of her husband. Though she misses her home and her family so much, she keeps fighting with Sohaib.
Praise the Lord for Sohaib‘s fast recovery and his amazing grandmother and please pray for a fast reunion with the family back home.
I had never met Sohaib from Gaza or his grandmother before today but you would never have known it as we chatted away in broken English and Arabic, using few words but expressing a world of love. We met outside the cardiology department and got to know each other while we waited for the echo and medical review. Sohaib’s grandmother came from the secondary ICU to wait and she was holding such a tiny baby. He was born at 36 weeks gestation, still needing one more week to become full term. He needs to grow and become the healthy, happy, chubby baby we all want him to be.
The exciting news is that his surgery went extremely well and the doctor was happy with both his heart and general recovery. Often babies with Transposition of the Great Arteries arrive very sick, even literally on death’s door. Miraculously after the surgeons switch the arteries (or plumbing as I like to think of it) and they receive the circulating oxygen they need, their recovery is remarkable. If all goes well we hope to see Sohaib returning home to Gaza in the next few weeks.
Today was my first day to meet our little Sohaib and his beautiful and sweet grandma. Sohaib is in his first day, post-operatively, and he is still intubated, with cables and drains. His grandmother was really in a good mood. When I was with them I felt like I had known them for a long time. Despite the fact that we cannot speak the same language, we have a good time laughing, talking, and taking pictures together. Praise the Lord, our beautiful Alena came to the room; she can speak some Arabic, so our communication was better. She showed us beautiful pictures of her big family.
A few minutes later his nurse came into the room and told us that he is stable, his echo was good but they don’t have plans to extubate him yet. His grandma asked me to pray, and of course I prayed for them with gratitude for a good 24 hours after surgery and also for the joy in Grandma’s heart. I also asked God for complete healing and to protect him from any complications after surgery, and that they can go back home soon with a new heart for Sohaib. Please join with me in that prayer.
Great thanks to everyone who prayed for our little Sohaib! He had his surgery today!
When I arrived to the ICU around eleven it took me a little time to figure out that he is having his surgery right now. Sohaib’s grandmother explained that they took him in at 7:30 this morning.
She was in a surprisingly good mood. Spending time with her was so much fun. She talked a lot to me even though I didn’t really understood her and we laughed so much together especially during the video call with Sohaib’s father. Thank you Lord for this blessed and lovely time!
When Sohaib came out of his surgery after around 5 1/2 hours, his grandma started to cry a little bit as she didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her grandchild immediately. I tried to convey to her that it’s completely normal that the nurses need some time to “get him ready” after surgery and so she calmed down.
When we finally entered his room the nurse told me that he is not stable. I had to leave him like that. However I knew that he is not alone because our father in heaven is watching over him!
It was a true joy to see little Sohaib from Gaza today in the hospital. He is incredibly small, so that you don’t want to touch him even just to make sure he would not break! The reason for that is that he is a preterm baby, born at 35 weeks; but so beautiful. He is now a bit over two weeks old. How sad it always is to see when a child has to start his very first days around surgeons and nurses because of a life-threatening disease. It must be also very hard on the family, since his 26 year-old, now-healthy mother had also been born with a congenital heart defect and had surgery at the age of 3 months.
Little Sohaib has, like many urgent babies, a transposition of the great arteries (TGA). Right now he can only survive because of a little hole inside his heart, through this a blood exchange can happen. This hole is very normal for unborn babies, and usually it would naturally close a few days after their birth. So now he is on medication to stop the hole from closing, until he had a successful surgery. Let’s pray for a soon scheduling of his operation!
One of the best parts of today’s hospital visit was getting to know Sohaib’s grandmother. How lovely she is! She was so welcoming to our volunteer Margerita and me; the first just happy to see anyone and being able to spend time together, she was just joyfully chattering, even though we could barely understand a word. When Margerita started praying for Sohaib, she then suddenly broke into tears, being very moved by it.
May our God protect both of them and hold his hand over Sohaib during the whole time he will be with us.