Despite all the various challenges, we continue to pray that it would be God that supplies our strength and love. And we pray that the God of hope would abundantly fill Rovar and his family with “all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13) We pray that our strength, hope, and joy would be renewed through the founder and perfecter of our faith.
When I turned the corner looking for Rovar’s hospital room, Rovar’s mom had just exited the room. Rovar’s mother and I were both pleasantly surprised to see each other. We embraced and exchanged greetings, and soon after I heard fast foot steps. A few seconds later, Rovar was in my arms.
Rovar’s hemoglobin levels yesterday were low and he received a blood transfusion. During his transfusion his heart rate he developed a low heart rate. They then performed an EKG test and forwarded it to the cardiologists to review. Today his hemoglobin and other blood levels have improved, and we praise God for this good news.
Otherwise, Rovar has been healing and recovering. Please pray for his mother who is now feeling ill. She cares for him with such love and it must be difficult to rest while taking care of Rovar.
Later Rovar had a shower and we removed his old surgical dressing. I then softly sung Rovar to sleep and kissed him goodbye.
Healed and forgiven
Look where my chains are now
Death has no hold on me
‘Cause Your grace holds that ground
And Your grace holds me now
Praise God for his care for Rovar, and his gift of forgiveness. God’s grace is embracing Rovar. My prayer is that as he grows, he will accept this gift of grace and forgiveness.
Although Rover was very tired today after his surgery, he was very pleased to see his friend Neena when she came to visit after her CT this morning. He whispers “Neena” and gives a small wave. His bright smile is missing in action today, but he is pleased with his new buddy, a cute little stuffed husky puppy which he places next to him as he continues to rest.
He enjoys watching his favorite toy show of the bug marching down the stick and some bubbles floating by, but mostly just lays quietly. Our little buddy has been through a lot and today he is feeling it. He will be in the hospital for a while still, and is sleeping a lot to help his little brain heal as fast as possible.
His mother is also pleased to see friends and relieved that the second surgery is finally behind them. They chatter away catching up on all the news of the many things happening in the community every day this week. Many of the doors that we have been praying for a long time to be opened went flying open in quick succession. Praise be to God! Thank you for all your prayers for Rovar and his family! May God continue to touch them with His mighty power!
Our beautiful superhero completed his mission once again.
But as every good superhero story includes some obstacles so did Rovar’s morning. Since being poked by a needle is one of Rovar’s least favorite things to do, he had to be very strong this morning. As the nurses were trying to find a good vein, they had to reinsert the needle multiple times. Rovar disliked this procedure to its core but he defeated this enemy with a clear victory. 1 to zero for our superhero.
As I came into the room Rovar was resting, gathering his strength for the final round.
Therefore I was able to spent some time with his mom who was happy that the surgery would be done soon but as well worried for her son. She was constantly praying for Rovar and I did as well.
Finally the preparation for the battle began. As Rovar was taken to the OR he observed every little detail carefully. His eyes scanned the inside of the ambulance, the hallway and his final destination.
He felt safe with his mom being by his side all the way.
With the final preparations happening, Rovar showed his superhero-professionalism. He was sitting on his bed calmly, watching videos. I felt like angels were sitting next to him, holding his hand and so did his mom. She held her son closely giving him as much love as possible. So the bell rang and Rovar entered his final battle in the OR.
When superheroes start their missions moms have to wait even though their biggest wish is to take on the battle themselves.
Rovar’s mom came back to me with tears running down her face, every single one of them a sign of her immense love for Rovar. Then all we had to do was wait and pray for beautiful Rovar. During the wait this bible verse came to my mind:
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
Rovar was not alone in this battle, God sent down his angels to help him.
As the mom was very scared at the beginning I sent out a prayer request to our staff WhatsApp group to pray for strength for the mom–and God provided. All I can say is that I was impressed by how strong this mom stood through the surgery. Clearly where he got his superhero-genes from.
Finally she was called in and told that everything went well. The sorrow she had carried with her all this time was finally lifted from her shoulders and tears of joy and happiness started running down her face. She took her place next to Rovar while he was waking up from his battle.
To end this day perfectly God blessed us with a great helper to bring Rovar to the correct floor. The man allowed all of us to drive back in the ambulance and we were able to talk about Shevet. As Rovar entered his phase of rest, we left these two amazingly strong superheroes.
And even though the day showed a rough start, we can gladly say: Mission complete!
It’s finally the day of Rovar’s second surgery admission.
To be honest this was the most (emotionally) exhausting admission ever. The wrong appointment letter of a so called “Madeleine” caused a lot of trouble.
For more than two hours I was just running up and down, secretaries sent me from one place to another. But no one could give me the stickers that are necessary for the admission. They couldn’t find the appointment in their computer. I was basically praying all the time. Knowing that God already knows what will happen and in the end everything will work out somehow.
Anyway Rovar’s mum got quite upset. I can’t even tell how relieved I was when I finally held the stickers in my hands. To see one of the nurses putting the ID tack around Rovar’s wrist felt like a victory after a long battle.
Rovar’s mum was so excited when she told me that they are in the exact same room as they were last time before surgery. The first thing Rovar and I did in the room was have a little pillow fight. Of course Rovar was incredibly upset when they shortly after did a blood draw. But because of his amazing mum, he calmed down very quickly again so that I felt confident leaving them. Please pray for Rovar’s surgery tomorrow and that he will recover from it as quick as he did from the first one.
The proverb “the early bird catches the worm“ didn’t apply today when Rover had to leave for the hospital at 7 o‘clock.
The traffic was very bad but Rover listened to his Korean music and didn’t really notice it. After arriving at the hospital Rover was scheduled to have a blood test whereupon we had to wait a very long time. But also in this time of waiting, Rover managed to stay happy by watching how the coffee machine works and playing hide and seek with me. Usually taking his blood requires a lot of effort because he is usually refusing and crying. Thanks be to God that he didn’t cry a lot today and he could show us his proud smile quickly afterwards.
During the time of waiting for the results we went to his physiotherapy appointment which was a lot of fun. Rover’s mum taught Rover a new game and he could spend some time painting,
playing with dinosaur or absolving one of the challenges the Therapist gave him.
Rovar’s body is showing some weakness in the right side of his body. After his surgery on Tuesday he will continue the physiotherapy to help him strengthen his body.
Back and forth we were waiting again to talk to one of his doctors about his blood. After such a long day (it was around 3 o’clock) full of waiting, walking and new adventures our little angel fell asleep in my arms.
It is such a great feeling to be there for Rover the whole day. Going with him through all his appointments and seeing him improving.
Finally his blood results were in and praise the LORD his blood has improved which is why he didn’t need a blood transfusion today. We were able to go home! Tomorrow Rover will come back to the hospital to be admitted for his surgery on Tuesday. There is a lot coming for Rover and his mum. My prayer for them is to stay strong and happy. God may surround them with great doctors and nurses who can care for Rover and answer all his mum’s questions.
Please join me in my prayers!
Our sunshine Rovar was in such a lovely mood today, full of energy and joy and constantly laughing. While we were waiting for his first physiotherapy appointment (which he needed because the way he walks is not right), he had a lot of fun clowning around with Frank.
The appointment itself was such a lovely experience. At the beginning it felt like some kind of conference as we were sitting with six doctors and physiotherapists around a table, talking about Rovar’s condition. He was very cheerful going through the routines with them. They all did a very good job and were so friendly, knowing exactly what to do. It made me very happy to see so many of them caring for one little child.
The outcome of this appointment was that Rovar‘s right site is a little bit atrophic, undeveloped. One of them wanted him to walk with insoles which would lift the heel of his right foot.
The idea is that they will try all kinds of physical aids, and give him exercises so that as he grows his muscles will strengthen and the issues will be resolved on their own. They would like to evaluate him more by doing different checks such as his hand function.
Most encouraging and beautiful for me was to hear at the end that normally they do these things only for Israeli children. Before we entered the room they didn’t know that none of us have an Israeli citizenship and when they found out, they treated us with the same kindness and decided to help Rovar anyway.
I am so thankful for this great day at the hospital, to feel how God is in control and how everything worked out so perfectly. Please pray for good timing and wisdom regarding the schedule of all of Rovar‘s upcoming appointments.
Rovar had a consult meeting with his neurologist today, and going into it I had no idea how this was all going to work out. We needed a list of things from this doctor, like two prescriptions and we also, and this is the biggest piece, needed a translator for his mum who speaks both Kurdish and Arabic. When we got to the department, I checked us in at reception but the letter we usually use to pay for meds, this time, needed an extra signature. I went to an office I had been to only once before and there were a few women in the room. One of them, Raghad, came back to talk with the receptionist. She knew Georgia and also Rovar’s mum, and once the payment letter was sorted out she returned to her office. We were sent to wait outside the doctor’s office when Rovar’s mum suggested that the woman who helped us could be a translator, so I went back to ask her and she was more than willing to help! We waited maybe ten minutes before our number was called and we were sent in to the office, so I gave her a call and she was there shortly after. In the time we were waiting the doctor said he could not write prescriptions, that we would have to track down the doctors of the departments from which they came and have them write one. But as Raghad came to translate, and Rovar’s mum got to ask all of her questions, the doctor had said to Raghad in Hebrew that we needed prescriptions. After the meeting she told us that she knew who could help and would get the prescriptions! Both Rovar’s mum and I audibly breathed a sigh of relief after everything was finished. And we celebrated by going to the soft play area which Rovar loves!
I’m still in awe from how God worked everything out today, and my cheeks hurt from all the laughing we did at the soft play area as Rovar flung himself over the different obstacles yelling, “Hulk smash!” Or “Spiderman!” (Hence the blurry pictures). In my human strength and wisdom I dreaded what potentially lay ahead this morning, but God in his grace and mercy made everything that was impossible with me, possible because of Him.
Today out brave Rovar went to the hospital for a blood test which led to a transfusion because of his low hemoglobin levels. It is impossible to convey how special Rovar is, he is intelligent and curious, the nurse who put in the cannula for the transfusion noticed that although he was crying he would be able to call himself down long enough for the needle to go in. They tried quite a few times before they got a vein that drew blood, but throughout this Rovar was in his mother’s arms.
He would often say “madge” which means kiss in Kurdish and so that is how he was consoled during these difficult moments. Through his tears he repeated “bismillah” which means in the name of God, to get him through. After they found a vein, he calmed down and played with some toys, and watched his iPad.
Eventually he fell asleep as his mum held him. He has another appointment in a week, so please keep praying for him, as he is still awaiting a second EDAS surgery. Thank God for these wonderful doctors and nurses who take such good care of him.
Rovar had another blood test today. The nurse was skillful to take his blood quickly, which minimised the time that Rovar was upset for. Still he does find the experience quite traumatic. It is sad to see him so scared, although his mum cares for him with strength and beauty.
Thank God that Rovar also had the company of his new friend Jakob, one of the Danish group who are working with us this week. Together with Lisa, they visited the soft play area in the hospital, which kept Rovar entertained during the many hours of waiting for the blood test result. We enjoyed our time alltogether today.
The doctor was kind, and explained that thankfully, Rovar’s haemoglobin levels were such that he didn’t require a blood transfusion today, however, it’s likely that he will need one when he returns on Sunday for another blood test and consultation.
And again Rovar needed to spend a very long day in the hospital because he had an appointment for a blood test. For the last few days he also needed to stay in hospital very long and I thought about how I could be helpful should he need to do this again. So I prayed to God about it and as He always does, He took care of it.
As we started our day to the hospital the car was full of people. Lawi also should have had an appointment, so we weren’t alone. While Rovar very bravely had his blood test, Lawi’s appointment got canceled. Yes, you could be upset about it, but Rovar wasn’t at all because it meant he could spend the whole day waiting together with Lawi until his results came in. Together we had a lot of fun. Sometimes you have to see the situation through different eyes:
So, they and coworker Julio, tinkered with their own new eyes. But that wasn’t enough. Running through the hallways and greeting everyone in bits of Hebrew, saying “Shalom” (peace) and “Ma-nischma?”(how are you) brought so much joy to all of us.
The results came back saying that his hemoglobin dropped today and he needs a blood transfusion and needs to stay for a little while longer. I picked them up later in the evening and saw exhaustion in Rovar’s mum’s face. Even though Rovar has fun at the hospital, these long days are very tiring.
On Thursday he will have another appointment. Please pray that his blood test will be better and he will improve. Also pray for new strength for his mother. After all I‘m very thankful for God’s leading today. Something bad for Lawi turned into something really nice and supportive for Rovar and his mum. Praise be to our glorious God who always takes care of us.
Today again was a really traumatic time for him having his blood taken but thankfully as soon as it was over, he had forgotten all about it. His haemoglobin levels are still low, but not so much that he required another blood transfusion today.
Whilst we waited to see the doctor, Rovar enjoyed himself by copying dance routines from some favourite YouTube videos. It was so sweet to see him. He has a lovely personality and is very kind and loving.
Some changes were made to his medication, and he still needs to come back yet again on Sunday for another blood test. It is not an easy time for him, needing to come so frequently to have blood tests, and sitting for long long days in the hospital.
Please keep praying for him and his mum
Written by Christiane
It’s always fun to be around Rovar. Even in hospital. He greets doctors and nurses with a big smile and open arms. Become like little children – have an open heart, trust, be joyful – I can see that in Rovar. Unfortunately he also experiences disappointments and screamed today when the nurse had to take blood. But as you can see on the photo Rovar was brave and got a badge. Since his haemoglobin level keeps dropping we needed to check on him but he didn’t need a transfusion today.
It was an intense day – not only because of recurring rocket alerts – but also because of a number of doctor’s appointments for Rovar and new appointments to organise in different departments (another blood test on Thursday, an EEG after his operation and he needs to be seen by a physiotherapist). And the neurologist we saw today suggested a change in medication.
Rovar’s mom seemed tired and frustrated today so let us pray for his mom to have peace and be able to trust the doctors, and also pray for interpreters since communication is not so easy at times. And let us pray for Rovar’s operation on December 3rd.
Once again our beautiful Rovar had to revisit the hospital for one of his least favorite appointments: a blood test. Even though he did not become friends with the procedure, he stood through it bravely.
The day started very early for Rovar. He had an appointment in the morning with his doctor. After a short meeting the doctor said he is very contented about his wound – it is healing very well.
From then on Rovar and his mum were happy and had new motivation to wait for the EEG, which was planned for the afternoon. In the Time between Rovar made many friends in the hospital. He is such a joyful and peaceful child. Doing a puzzle with a staff member, sharing a muffin with Christiane, giving me a overwhelming hug when he saw me!
Rovar brings so much happiness to the people with his behavior and patience he motivated me to do the same even if I‘m in periods of long waiting or difficult situations.
Then it was time to get to take the EEG in another building where a car took us. Rover was waving at the buildings to say goodbye and his mother and I just enjoyed this short trip. In the EEG area we met a lovely Doctor and the doctor and Rovar became friends pretty quickly because they share the same taste in music – Korean music! In moments like this I‘m so thankful for God and His way of building relationships and sending distraction from all the stuff that is going on. He is the one we can always count on and He will make a way for us. While Rovar had his EEG, his mum could rest a little bit and in this situation the song “Rest In You“ came to my mind.
“Our hearts are restless
Until they find rest in You
This is where my hope lies
This is where my souls sighs
I will always find my rest in You“
In God I can find my rest and He is the one who gives me new strength every day. So my prayer for Rover and his mum is to find rest in our awesome god. Through all the time in the hospital, the waiting, the tests, the surgery, they are able to find God in all of it. I have hope that the results of the EEG will be good so that Rovar can have his second surgery in the beginning of December.
Rovar’s attentive mother noticed that his hands were paler than normal and immediately sensed that his hemoglobin levels were probably dropping. Rovar previously needed blood transfusions, perhaps due to his blood condition called beta-thalassemia intermedia. This is an inherited disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce adult hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in the body. Anemia, or decreased hemoglobin levels, is correlated with beta-thalassemia.
To get a better picture of his blood levels, we took him to the Emergency Room. We waited for an hour or so, and during the meantime Rovar happily played the drums and explored the different game facilities at the hospital.
When we finally were able to talk with the doctor, Rovar fell asleep before the doctor listened to his lungs, and then later fell asleep in my lap as we were discussing our concerns with the doctor.
He seemed more tired than usual. Rovar later had to endure a blood test and intravenous cannula insertion, which involved lots of screaming and tears.
We waited for another few hours. Lisa played with Rovar and also comforted him during the waiting.
Then the doctor told us that his hemoglobin level was rather low and that he would need a blood transfusion. They also decided to keep Rovar overnight for observation and to perform the long blood transfusion.
The waiting reminded me of waiting patiently for God with joyful expectation for the return of God. Our God, who loves righteousness and justice, but is also our steadfast love…who created the expanses of the sky and sea, and who created Rovar so intricately and wonderfully…is our hope in the waiting. Psalm 33: 20-22 states,
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
Please pray for Rovar and his mother as they are now in the hospital. Please continue to pray for wisdom for the doctors in knowing how to best care for him.
Rovar’s location in the surgical unit was unknown, but it was easy to find him by simply listening for the Korean music he listens to every day. Over the last few days, Rovar has been recovering from his left indirect revascularization surgery. It is encouraging to see him walking and talking, and finding comfort in his mother.
There was one moment, when Rovar was in pain, but he sought solace in his mother’s embrace. It reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, which states: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” May we all seek solace in God our father, who is the God of all comfort.
There was a moment where he asked me to stroke his temple as he fell asleep. It was so heart-warming to see how much trust and comfort he found in his mother and I. As he fell asleep, I marveled at his beautiful face and the new surgical incisions on the left side of his head. Praise God for bringing him healing thus far.
Please continue to pray for Rovar as he continues to heal. In two weeks, he will have a follow-up appointment with his neurologist to determine his progress. Hopefully in one month he will have an indirect revascularization procedure–the same surgery he just received–on the right side of his head.
by Reba Jones
Rovar is recovering nicely from surgery.
His energy level is high, and he seems to be in good spirits. We spent some time playing with his toy helicopter and enjoyed tossing the ball around his room.
Alexa, Julie, and I had tea with Rovar’s mother while she expressed her great appreciation for all that Shevet is doing for them. Because Shevet Achim does not typically assist with neurological surgeries and procedures, Rovar’s mother is especially thankful. Rovar’s mother reports that he had a mild headache this morning requiring pain reliever but has not complained of pain since then. Joy showed evidently on Rovar’s face when he was able to video chat with his family during our visit.
He spoke with both his sisters and his father. Rovar’s sisters are 14 and 10 years old and were sharing with us about their current studies in multiple languages. Our visit with Rovar finished with him playing some American music on his iPad; which his mom informed us he much prefers over Kurdish music. We had a last laugh as we danced around a bit before saying our goodbyes for today.
It finally happened! Rovar’s long-awaited surgery took place today. Ruth and I headed to the hospital to sit with Rovar’s mum throughout the surgery. Still our first important task turned out to be finding the correct waiting area. To complete this task we had to enter a part of the hospital that I have never been to before. After searching for Rovar on the wrong floor we were told where the operating area was. Following the vague description “Go to the Lobby. Turn left, then right.“ We finally saw Rovar’s mum who jumped up to greet us. The moment I hugged her, her tears started falling. I could feel how scared she was and how deeply she loved her son. A few seconds later she looked at me and tried to smile, a smile that was filled with incredible strength. As we sat down in the waiting area, a man came from the other side of the room and gave us coffee. Little did we know that he would become an angel throughout the surgery. He was waiting for his grandson’s surgery to be completed, still he would come to us and provide loads of food and drinks. He showed so much love for us even though we were total strangers to him.
Rovar’s mum requested to pray for the surgery so Ruth and I fulfilled this request happily. Hearing that we sent the prayer request to the rest of the Jaffa staff made Rovar’s mum very happy. Although her thoughts must have been consumed by Rovar’s surgery, she was able to share pictures with us and have uplifting conversations with the other persons in the room. Still, you saw how scared she was whenever a conversation grew quiet. Her eyes would fixate on the glass door of the operating area and you could tell how deeply she longed to hold her son and tell him that everything would be alright.
Finally, the waiting ended and Rovar was brought to his room. His mum was so happy and relieved to see Rovar. She accompanied his bed, being always close to her son. Her happiness was lighting up her surroundings wherever they went. Rovar was brought up to his room and had to go through a few procedures before he could be alone. Even though this little boy was exhausted and did not like what was done to him, he stood through it bravely. During these procedures Rovar’s mum would never leave his side as well. In stroking his hair and holding him, she was pouring out her love for Rovar. A real-life superhero.
Rovar’s room was filled with strength from both Rovar and his mum. In the end, Rovar proudly announced that he is now like Spider-Man because of his line on his hand. And as Spider-Man needs to sleep after being a superhero, so did Rovar. With his mum stroking his head he fell asleep our incredibly brave superhero.
Rovar’s mother shared how she was unable to sleep last night because her heart was pounding in anticipation of the surgery tomorrow. However Rovar seems to enjoy his time in the hospital and loses no sleep over his upcoming surgery. When we first walked into the hospital building today, he eagerly pressed the elevator button and was excited to return to the pediatric surgery department.
Rovar also enjoyed exploring the hospital with his friend a fellow Kurdish patient Gashbin:
Rovar was admitted into the hospital for his indirect revascularization surgery tomorrow at 7 am. His blood test results also confirmed Rovar’s original diagnosis of beta-thalassemia and Moyamoya disease.
Please pray for Rovar as he has a major surgery tomorrow. Please pray for peace for his whole family. We trust that God has Rovar in his hands, and that he deeply cares for Rovar. We pray that his family will trust in God in all circumstances.
Rovar is having more tests and seeing the doctor today who is planning a strategy for Rovar’s upcoming brain surgery which should be in about two weeks. We had to go to the Lab for more blood tests. The technician who took the blood sample was so impressed with the bravery of Rovar. This little trooper was made very happy by the technician when she gave him a metal sticker.
We had to wait for almost two hours to see the hematologist for Rovar’s blood test results to be read. Rovar enjoyed his waiting time however by driving the train in the playground area. I happily took care of him while his mother visited some of the other Shevet mothers at the hospital.
When we finally met with the Hematologist we were told that the doctor will need another 4 blood test results from the other appointed professors in order to decide when to perform the surgery.
Lets keep both mother and son in our prayers for an anxiety-free waiting process.
Rovar was diagnosed with a condition called Moyamoya disease, which means that some of the arteries in his brain are constricted. After the doctors reviewed his previous exams, they planned to perform a brain procedure to help form an indirect connection to improve his blood flow in the brain. His procedure was originally scheduled for today; however, upon a blood test result and further review of his case, they are suspecting that he has another underlying condition. They are testing him for sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia intermedia, which are two blood conditions.
We had to go to the hospital for an early morning appointment. Rovar had his initial assessment today in the neurosurgery clinic. He was really happy to see the big crocodiles at the entrance of the children hospital, so we had to stop for a photo.
We had to wait for quiet time and we had to download all possible information and previous tests at the x-ray section. So the surgeon will have a complete picture of his diagnosis. The mother answered all the questions the surgeon asked her and then he did the check-up.
Because this is a very rare illness they would like the radiologist to see his case with all the information then decide if they need to do new tests like an MRI or SPECT, to see the vascular reserve of the brain. Then they will consult and decide whether he needs a surgery or other kind of treatment. This is just the beginning.
Please keep Rovar and his mother in your prayers as they adapt to the new family here and the Lord opens a door of healing for him.
Poetry is art. The best art is beautiful, unique, and treasured. The French artist Edgar Degas once said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” It is an expression of what is most valuable to the one creating. Art gives form to the most significant stories the artist seeks to tell. You are God’s art. You are the work of His hands–divine poetry made to bring glory to Him!”