I hadn’t seen Abd Salam for a very long time. All that I always heard about him was that he wasn’t doing well at all.
When I stepped next to his bed this morning I couldn’t even look at him. I was so aghast. It took a little time until I pulled myself together. The Gaza babies I had seen before who were in a similar situation never looked this bad.A loud beep filled the room as one of his medicines was empty. After maybe ten minutes a nurse came to exchange it. At first I thought that someone had put for whatever reason some kind of plastic wrap around his little arm until I realized that it was his actual skin.
I didn’t really know what to do so I just prayed again and again that God‘s will would happen in Abd Salam’s life. When we talked to the head nurse later and mentioned Abd Salam’s name, all he said was,”He is going to die!“ I never heard anyone of the staff in the hospital say it so directly. It was so sad.
But the idea that one day his little body will be completely restored and healed is just so beautiful:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Please keep his grandma in your prayers. She has been in the hospital for such a long time and to see her little grandson like that everyday must be so heartbreaking.
Yousif visited with Abdusalam today, and spoke with the doctor about his situation. It was not very news, which his grandma heard as well.
Abdusalam has problems in many areas of his body, including his brain and both of his kidneys. He also has fluid in his lungs, and his little body is trying to fight a virus.
I really wanted to go into his room today and pray for him. It was very sad to see his body which looks quite swollen and discoloured. His grandma said I should hold his hand, which I did, and prayed that God will also hold him and look on him with mercy. His grandma was sad today, as she understood his situation to be not so good. She has been a good friend for the other Gaza grandmas during all of these months which she has been here, and it was quite difficult to see her today, still with a brave face, but much subdued.
Please pray for God’s miracle in Abdusalam’s life. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Hang in there, little guy!
As a newcomer to Shevet Achim, I must admit I was a little nervous about my first visit to the beautiful Sheba Hospital in the outskirts of Tel Aviv. As I entered Abdulsalam’s room, I was shocked as I saw this tiny little body attached to more monitors and machinery than I have ever seen in my life! He lay perfectly still, clinging to life. Every few seconds a monitor would “beep,” then go silent.
Earlier we got a report from Dr. Evyatar, who is handling Abdulsalam’s case. “He had an infection earlier this week, but he is doing much better now,” he said. “We are trying to see if we can take him off the ventilator.”
It is very important to get off the ventilator soon to relieve stress on the throat. “It’s touch and go,” he said. If he can’t get off the ventilator soon, he may need a tracheotomy. That decision, he said, would be made in the next 24 hours.
Abdulsalam’s grandmother is patient and cheerful, but I could see the concern in her eyes as Colin – our amazing nurse – explained about the tracheostomy.
As we left Abdulsalam’s room, I heard the monitor “beep” again. I glanced back and uttered a prayer for him. “Lord, he’s been through so much at such already! How much more can he endure? Heal him, Jesus. Let him grow up and play and learn to read. Let him know how much he is loved here in this place.”
I opened my eyes and glanced once more through the door, adding the only words my overwhelmed brain couId still think of … “hang in there, little guy.”
It was my joy today to be able to go into Abdulsalam’s room, for the first time. He has moved, still within the ICU but no longer needs to be in a room with complete isolation, as his chest has been closed now for some days. Betty and I stood with him for quite some time, and praised God for bringing this body healing after an extremely difficult month for this baby.
Thank God that he has heard and responded to the prayers of the intercessors presenting Abdulsalam to his throne. Please continue to pray for healing over his life, as he continues to be on a high level of support.
It seems like a long road for Abdulsalam, but always it seems like there is unfailing hope for his life. After almost another week, the medical team had decided that he was ready to have his chest closed again, and so that procedure went ahead successfully today.
Now the door is open into his room, it was possible for me to get a better glimpse of his tiny little body. It is a real miracle that God our Father has sustained him through all this time.
As always, it was a pleasure to sit with his grandma for many hours with many of the other families and volunteers of Shevet. She is always in a bright mood.
Please keep praying for Abdulsalam’s healing.
This Son is the radiance [brightness] of the [glory of God], the very expression of God’s essence, upholding all that exists by his powerful word; and after he had, through himself, made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of [the Majesty on high] Hebrews 1:3
We began the day as a community studying these fantastic words in the first chapter of Hebrews. It was a joy to feel the peace of the Holy Spirit resting over these words, and to meditate on the beautiful family described in the trinity.
Thank God also for the encouraging reminder that He holds everything together, everything that exists in the universe, is held together by his word… Jesus, the Word.
So these thoughts were fresh into out minds and Deb and I arrived at the hospital, and as we stepped out of the lift, we saw the Grandmas of Abdulsalam and Rafif sitting together, and as they invited for us to sit down, they explained that Abdulsalam was in surgery.
It was fairly quick, and after he was brought back into doctor explained that the procedure was done to reopen his chest. Sadly, his blood pressure was much too low to continue with the chest closed, and also they were concerned that he could be developing a deep tissue infection.
So, as the doctor said that maybe it feels like a step backwards, it is the best for Abdulsalam’s case at this time. We need to remember and declare this truth for Abdulsalam; Jesus is holding every thing together.
Today was a good step forwards for the recovery of Abdulsalam, as he had a relatively short time in the OR as they closed his chest. Thank God that this little one continues to slowly show signs of recovery.
Hopefully soon we will be able to go into his room and see him properly, as so far it’s only been possible to look through the door, and see the outline of his little body, or perhaps just a tiny foot, surrounded by machines. Maybe in an update this week we will be able to share a photo with you!
I know that his grandma cares deeply for him, and she has been in a good and positive mood each time I have seen her. Today she was asking after Almuth, who sat with her all day and into the night for the 10 hours of the first surgery. It was really lovely to realise this special bond which they will have now.
Thank you for praying for Abdusalam, and praise God for healing him so far.
The Strong Fighter in the Isolation Room
“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.“ Zephaniah 3:14
I have no words to tell you about how amazed I am by this little boy. Starting his journey in Israel with very good results and the hope of a quick reunion with his family and continuing it with an incredibly long surgery. Needing very strict isolation and doctor’s looking at him with very concerned looks. If I would stop there and let you guess how he is doing now, I think most people would not choose this answer: Abdusalam is still fighting for his life with the incredible support of his loving Grandma. He was able to get off the ECMO and gives us new updates to rejoice in the Lord: Abdusalam had a cardiac ECO today and it showed good heart function. This result leads us to the next incredible update: The doctors are planning on closing his chest in the next few days. God has fought for this little man and against all odds we are rejoicing because Abdusalam is still alive and is improving!! We as humans have our systems of what is most likely to happen next, but God is greater than any logic. His sovereign hand has worked in little Abdusalam’s body and has given him the strength to conquer the odds and his disease. The Lord be praised for what he has done in Abdusalam’s life.
Praise God for this wonderful report: Abdulsalam was successfully taken off the ECMO the today, which involved a short surgery. He was taken into the operating theater at nine and came out around two and a half hours later. In this time, his grandmother was so calm. I’m sure that after the first nine hour surgery he had last week, this one passed in no time at all. Almuth, Rafeef’s grandma, and I sat with her as we we waited for him to come out, and we talked a little bit in Arabic. One thing you hear all the time from Arabic speakers in Inshallah which means God willing and sometimes they say Inshallah khayr which means God willing, good. As we spoke this term came up, and I told them that I’ve often made the mistake of saying “inshallah khiyar,” – which means cucumber – when I meant to say “Inshallah khayr;” I’ve never seen Abdulsalam’s nor Rafeef’s grandmothers laugh so hard. It is a pretty silly mistake if you think of it in English if someone came up to you and said “I am a cucumber” instead of “I am good,” it’d be pretty funny.
Both Almuth and I really enjoyed our time with them, and we so thankful to God that Abdulsalam was taken off the ECMO! We pray he continues to heal!
Abdusalam was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries, which means that the major arteries of the heart are reversed. He had a surgery to switch the position of the arteries, but during the surgery there was a complication with the aortic valve. He lost a lot of blood and was placed on ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This machine is taking the place of his heart and lungs to sustain his life. When I was observing Abdusalam on the ECMO machine, I was reminded of our human frailty and dependence on God. Spiritually, we are all on this ECMO machine. We are fully dependent on God, for he is the sustainer of life. He gifts us with every breath, and with every heart beat.
The doctors will monitor him on this machine for the next few days. Please pray for him and his grandmother, for peace and hope. It was heartwarming to see her smile during our time with her, despite the flurry of emotions she must be experiencing. She is so kind and brave.
We were unable to obtain a photo of Abdulsalam. Our heart was to be respectful of the medical staff caring for Abdulsalam.
Written by: Colin and Lisa
This little guy here caused us a lot of confusion. We went to visit Abdulsalam to wait with his grandma during a procedure. Without knowing who his grandma was, we entered the room. And we were equally happy and surprised to find a lot of the other moms waiting with Abdulsalam’s grandma in the waiting room. While we were there we talked to another mother who was waiting for her child to come out of surgery. I was overwhelmed how all the women in the room shared their burden with each other. They sat together and helped each other through this hard time.
But the confusion was just around the corner. As we came back from visiting another child on the same floor we found Abdulsalam already in his room. We were told that he had a cath and not a surgery, after a few visits we asked a nurse why they did the cath in order to update everyone. Now we were told that they never did a cath. So the confusion increased and the day turned into running from room to nurse and from nurse to another room. In the end we Finally found a nurse that was able to tell us what actually happened. Abdulsalam was supposed to have a cath a few days ago. Today he was supposed to have a procedure which was canceled because he was doing extremely well and wasn’t an urgent case. Even though we had to talk to many different staff members it was actually a blessing. The staff was incredibly kind and eager to help us.
Please pray for Abdulsalam‘s fast recovery and for his lovely grandma.
But we have also reasons to thank God especially for the amazing staff that helped us to find the right answer.
The Boy with the Great Smile
You want to see a three day-old baby who is smiling? Just go to the hospital and meet our precious new baby from Gaza, Abdulsalam.
After a long day at the hospital we went to visit Abdulsalam who just arrived to the hospital yesterday. He had a cath today which was really good! Jana and I welcomed his lovely grandma who was very tired but thankful for our presence. We prayed for him and watched him for a while and suddenly it seemed like he was smiling. We were so happy to see that and to hear from the nurses the he is doing very well.
Thanks to our great God who is always by his side. Please pray that Abdulsalam’s situation keeps on being stable, for the doctors to make wise decisions, and for his grandma to get some rest so she can be there for him. Also keep in your prayers his family at home to give them strength while they can’t be with their beautiful newborn baby.