As I approached the cardiac intensive care unit (expecting Joud to be in the room she was in last week), I was surprised to see Joud’s grandmother exit the secondary intensive care unit (this is a lower acuity unit). I was very happy to see her, as it has been 4 days since we were laughing together in the hospital waiting area. We embraced and exchanged greetings, and she asked if I wanted to visit Joud in the secondary intensive care unit. Joud is no longer on the CPAP machine. She is still on oxygen support, but thankfully with very little support. Her nurse was very pleased with Joud’s improvement. Though Joud’s grandmother prefers for her photo not to be taken, she allowed for Joud’s photo to be taken today. We spent time simply holding Joud’s tiny hands.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he and his hands formed the dry land.
With contribution from Betty
Baby Joud arrived in Israel last night, travelling from Gaza in an ambulance. She is two weeks old, and has come with her grandma.
Her grandma is very worried about what will happen in the next two days, as Joud has to wait until after the Yom Kippur holiday before she can have her surgery, to switch her two great arteries.
The good news is that she is stable in the hospital, and she was happily feeding well.
We felt the hope in the room over the life of Joud, and we were able to pray with the grandma, especially the words of Psalm 139:
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.
Please keep sweet baby Joud in your prayers. Please also pray for strength for her grandma here in Israel, and her mother back in Gaza, as she is separated from her first baby.
Joud’s family brought her to doctors in the Gaza Strip after noticing she was blue at the age of 12 days. To their shock, an echocardiogram showed she was born with transposition of the great arteries. This means that her heart is pumping blue blood back out into the body, rather than the red blood coming from the lungs. The only thing keeping her alive is a large hole between the ventricles of her heart, which allows some mixing to take place there of the red and blue blood.
We rushed Joud tonight to the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, where she’ll have an emergency surgery to switch the great arteries back to their intended place. She’s arrived on the eve of Yom Kippur, and we expect Israeli doctors will stabilize her, examine her heart, and prepare for her surgery after the solemn holy day.