By Margaret Estes
The day took an unexpected turn for Lawi but not before we enjoyed some relaxed fun together. While sharing a pita dipped in yogurt, we assembled some toys, took photos of ourselves with funny filters and practiced naming various foods in English. Lawi was quite proficient at counting in English. Lawi’s shy smile is enough to melt a hard heart. His calm and peaceful disposition belied the unfortunate news from the doctors earlier this week.
On this day, however, the doctors became more convinced throughout the day that Lawi would be able to return to the Jaffa house. He had changed out of his hospital clothes, and the doctor had begun the discharge papers. But Lawi began to suffer a massive headache some time after we left his side. The doctors were not willing to discharge him with this latest development. His father was dejected and discouraged, but nothing could be done. As we left the hospital, the plan for Lawi was to receive eye drops and visit the ophthalmologist in the evening for tests to look for possible causes of his headache.
I am reminded of the truths that:
“What is impossible with man is possible with God”! Luke 18:27
“Oh, Lord GOD! You have made the heavens and earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you!” Jeremiah 32:17
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.” Ephesians 3:20–21
Our merciful and mighty God is not hindered by the limitations of mankind despite all our medical knowledge and advancements. The bigger the mountain, the greater His glory when He moves it. And so we pray and hope in our God to move mountains for Lawi.
“May Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Our incredibly strong Lawi was able to leave the ICU and was moved to the general pediatric ward. Coworkers Colin and Amber and I were very happy to hear about this and set out to find Lawi’s new room. Lawi’s Dad seemed very pleased to see us when we arrived. Strong and beautiful Lawi lay weakly in his bed. He seemed very tired but still he proudly presented to us his three band-aids. Seeing Lawi in this big bed, he seemed so small and fragile but our fighter is not discouraged. He showed us his still stunning smile. I couldn’t help but be in awe of our Creator at how He made this boy; how He created his beautiful smile, his strong mind during this tiring time, his incredible artistic talent, and his open character. Yet my mind isn’t able to form as many loving thoughts as God’s mind does. His thoughts toward Lawi are inexhaustibly good, proud and loving. His love for Lawi is so deep and so pure and He is with Lawi through all of these difficult moments. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! – Psalm 139,17
God will never stop thinking about Lawi because he is His child. I pray that Lawi will be able to feel this love and see how much and well God thinks of him. Please Pray for wisdom for Lawi’s doctors and that Lawi and his daddy will get to know their wonderful Father in heaven.
When we entered the 4th floor this morning Lawi was standing outside his room in the hall as if he would have waited for us. It took a few seconds until I noticed him and shouted “Oh, good morning Lawi!” I was so happy to see him. He smiled at us with his cute and shy smile.
One of the nurses told me that Lawi’s catheterization will definitely be today, they just don’t know the exact time yet. I realized that the nine year old was a little bored and so I was more than glad to find these two puzzles that were just perfect for his age.
Spending time with Lawi really is a blessing as he is such a lovely, gentle and calm boy. He has just a very sweet and humble spirit.
Finally at 10:20 they took him into the cath. His dad remained completely calm. And as we were also waiting with Samir’s mum for Samir’s surgery to end we were a lovely little group of waiting people.
The cath didn’t take too long. When I came into Lawi’s room afterwards he was already half awake again. He was stable and seemed to be fine. But after we had given him a tiny bit of water he had to throw up. Nevertheless he remained calm. Everything about him is just so lovely. The way he pulls a face, the way he talks with his sweet little voice, the way he nods to say he is alright, the way he loves his dad…
The result of his cath is quite challenging: the function of the ventricles of his heart is very bad and the treatment options are limited. The doctor said they’ll have a conference to discuss what’s best for Lawi. Please pray for wisdom and that God’s will will be done in Lawi’s life!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Details revealed by first exam in Israel
Lawi’s first visit to the Sheba Medical Center was today. In the midst of an area bustling with children running around the play center, Lawi patiently waited on a colorful seat with his father by his side. Lawi meticulously created art. He once aligned stickers gently in a perfect line, and counted each and every one of them. During his waiting period, he colored a picture within the lines and carefully matched the colors to their descriptions.
As his art is detailed, so is his diagnosis. In addition to his heart condition, Lawi has pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in his lungs. He also has fluid in his abdominal cavity and lung cavities. These are contributing factors to his frequent respiratory infections, struggles with tolerating prolonged activity, and frequent vomiting. The cardiologist is suggesting a valve replacement surgery. A chest x-ray was performed today. Hopefully after the cardiologist interprets the results, more details regarding the plan of care will be disclosed as we learn more information.
Please pray for Lawi and his father as they wait for more results. Please pray for wisdom and respect in planning his care.
Two hours after the flight from Sulaymaniyah landed in Tel Aviv, Lawi and his father finally received their visa to enter into Israel. The Shevet Achim team was praying that their visas would be approved, especially because today was the last day before their visa entry allowance would expire. This is not his first attempt to enter into Israel as his previous visa expired, so we are very thankful that he was able to arrive safely.
The fathers at Shevet Achim warmly welcomed him to the Shevet Achim family. Arkan’s father kindly oriented him prior to his arrival, and Israa’s father eagerly greeted Lawi as he arrived at the Jaffa Center. We could see the smiling and waving father of Israa 600 feet away as we approached the house.
Lawi is a lovely nine year old boy. He has his first cardiac assessment in a few days on Sunday. Our hope is that Lawi will not only have a physical transformation of his heart, but also a holistic transformation. We believe that he will leave Shevet Achim full of life.
Written by: Jana and Colin