You fought for so long. You touched so many hearts with your story and your perfect design. You are deeply loved and missed by more people than you can imagine.
On Friday morning our precious Fathi took on his journey home to his Heavenly Father. Leaving behind his body that had failed him, he entered into a place where he will never feel pain again.
As I entered the ICU on Thursday, my main question was if Fathi was going to have his Catheterization. After seeing the other children one of the nurses finally approached me. He told me that the Cardiologists decided on not performing the Cath and that there was nothing left they could do for Fathi since he had a severe brain damage.
The next hours I spent by Fathi’s bed singing, praying and stroking him. All I wanted to do was hold this little boy and let him know he was not alone. And he definitely wasn’t since all the staff and multiple people around the world were caring deeply for him.
In the evening we got a message from the hospital that Fathi’s condition was deteriorating and that someone should come. Georgia and I arrived at the hospital and were thankfully welcomed by the doctor. Her words showed how much she cared for him. As we spent time with Fathi, I saw once again how beautiful he was. Apart from all the cables and medical equipment there was a beautifully designed boy, whose life writes the story of a miracle. God wanted him on this earth with all His heart.
Fathi transcended into his new home and will never feel pain again. Furthermore, he will finally be able to experience God’s beautiful creation. Sitting in his hospital room, I often looked out the window, and it made me sad that he never had felt the sun on his face or that he had never breathed in the fresh air after a rain shower. Now I know he is experiencing God’s creation in its most intense form. He is wrapped in God’s arms and his body will never fail him again.
Every second we had the privilege to be by his side is written in all our hearts. He is deeply missed, not only by us as the Shevet Staff, but also by the hospital staff and the praying family all around the world. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to have known him. He left this world surrounded by so much love for him.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Friends around the world, thank you all for praying and for loving the little baby Fathi from Gaza. He passed away in the night and is now resting in our Father’s arms. We trust he is completely comfortable, whole, well and in a place that is beyond our imagination. Thanks for interceding for him. Your prayers were important. We appreciate all of you. Stay tuned for Lisa’s blog about Fathi.
Fathi will look at you if you softly stroke his head and speak to him, and all I see in his eyes are love. Fathi is our beloved, and sometimes I wish that time would stop so that I could cherish more time with him.
It hurts my heart to simply ponder upon how the warmth that he has experienced, that it is provided by a machine. Has he even experienced the warmth of the sun? Did his mother ever get the chance to hold him in her arms? He has seen the white walls, heard the lullabies of alarms, and this is his introduction to the world. I cannot but help think about if one day he will fall in love with the sound of waves crashing into the shore, and to find joy in the beauty of the world.
God has sustained Fathi’s life, and Fathi is strong because of this. He has fought for so long, and maybe longer than many of us would expect given his circumstances. He has given us the opportunity to fall in love with how his little fingers slightly bend when we hold them, or how he blinks at us.
A cardiologist and I were talking about borders and how love transcends boundaries. It is unconditional. And surely then, love can flourish in the hospital and in Fathi’s heart. I cannot rid the thought of how I am incapable of loving Fathi with my whole heart, and I think he deserves more love than what I can provide. But I rest in knowing that only God can provide this unconditional, encompassing love.
Fathi is still in a critical condition. The doctors are in a dilemma, debating on whether to perform a cardiac catheterization to evaluate his heart function and to assess if the size of his BT shunt is compatible with Fathi. Due to his state, the doctors are unsure if Fathi will be stable enough for the catheterization.
Please pray for the healthcare team caring for Fathi as they decide how to care for Fathi. Please pray for his dear family. I still choose to believe that his family loves Fathi as their beloved child.
P.S. I apologize because I cannot bring myself to upload a picture of Fathi, as I hope to maintain his dignity. As for what he looks like, he is as beautiful as any other newborn baby that you would fall in love with.
It feels hard to put into words how I feel about Fathi. He is less than two months old – so small, so beautiful, a world of possibility ahead of him. Seeing him lying there in the middle of wires and tubes and machines doesn’t feel right somehow. My heart melts as I look into his little brown eyes and tell him he’s not alone.
His nurse explained there hasn’t been any change since last Thursday. He improved a little last week, but is still in a critical condition. We really have to trust Fathi into our God’s hands. He is fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image; he is loved and known more deeply than we could imagine; he is held in the hand of the God who never slumbers or sleeps.
Please continue to pray for this little boy who is becoming so special to all of us here at Shevet.
The God who constructed mountain peaks that surpass the height of clouds, and the God who designed depressions of valleys that surmount even the depths of the sea, also created Fathi.
Fathi’s journey thus far has been challenging, yet God has sustained his life. From the emergency transfer from Gaza to one attempted surgery, then undergoing another surgery and developing an infection which prevented the surgeons from closing his chest. The infection resolved and his chest was closed, but a few days ago we received news that he had developed sepsis– a systemic infection that was affecting his the functions of his organs. Fathi has been persevering and fighting for his life. From the updates we were receiving, it seemed as if he was at his lowest point, with his body bruised and his eyes weary. Even on the mountain’s edge or at the valley low, God is with Fathi.
Today God provided precious time with Fathi, even if it was only stroking him and telling him how much we all loved him. I apologized for not loving him with all the love that he deserved, and only God can provide this perfect love. He responded well to touch and to voice, responding with eye blinks and minimal movement of his little fingers. I am thankful for this time with him, as it is impossible for me to disregard the fact that he is made wonderfully by God.
My heart desires to entrust Fathi’s life completely into his Father’s hands. At this point of surrender, my hope was rekindled. Regardless of the outcome or the challenges of his journey, I trust that God is still good and sovereign. Through every joy or sorrow, through light and dark, God is with Fathi.
Within the last 24 hours, Fathi has shown signs of improvement. Even the slightest bit of improvement is encouraging. His liver function has slightly improved, but his kidney function is still unwell as he is not producing urine. However the doctors have not seen more growth of bacteria, and they have even been able to slightly decrease some of the medications supporting his heart.
Fathi is still in a critical condition. Please continue to pray for Fathi and his family, as well as all those who are caring for him diligently in the hospital.
Archie and I visited baby Fathi today. This was Archie’s first time meeting him, and the first time I had seen him since he had the surgery. Archie was struck by how tiny he was, and we both found that we were able to stand by his side for quite some time in peaceful silence. He had one little eye just about open and occasionally wrinkled his nose and face. We were sad to see how his little body was looking so tired and purplish-blue. His thick black hair has started to fall out, leaving a covering over his bed sheet.
The doctors and nurses were so kind as they asked whether we had been in contact with the family. We are all hopeful that someone will be able to come and spend these coming days with Fathi. It must be so difficult for his mum to have left a part of her heart here in Israel, as she is at home with her other babies.
Please pray for this lovely boy, and for his family at this difficult time.
A little miracle, there are nobetter words that could describe little Fathi’s life. Today I had the privilege of spending time with this miracle baby. For many days we weren’t able to go into Fathi’s room. Today however, as we were allowed in, this little boy stole my heart.
Even though he is cabled up on machines, Fathi opened his eyes. I looked at him. I did not only see a cute small face, I saw strength. A strength to fight for life. I was struck by how strong this baby has been fighting. And I wasn’t the only one who saw this strength: one of the amazing nurses smiled at him and said “strong boy” as she was doing her work around him. The doctor mentioned his strength as well and I saw how much these people were fighting for him.
The love that the staff pours out on Fathi is deeply touching. Fathi is not alone in his fight even though he has to master the rounds on his own. There are many people in his corner that cheer for him. As I sat down next to him, I told him this exact thing, that he was not fighting alone.
Beautiful Fathi’s situation is deteriorating but the fight is not over, so please be in Fathi’s corner and pray for him!
Visitors are not allowed to enter into his room due to the risk of transmitting bacteria that could be very dangerous for him. A glass door separates us, and I often find myself looking afar at his little body and trying to learn more about him. I cannot softly sing him to sleep, cannot caress his beautiful face, or hold his little hand…but I can tell you that he is loved by God.
I was conversing with a mother earlier about the definition of happiness. Is it only subjective or is there an objective definition to happiness? I asked her what makes her happy, and she said that it makes her happy when she knows she is loved.
Earlier this morning, I read this adaption written by Dr. Andy Draycott, of lyrics from Ellie Holcomb and Rusty Varenkamp:
We are loved,
More than we know,
More than we could hope for,
After everything we’ve done.
As sure as the sun will rise,
And chase away the night,
Your mercy will not end.
Praise you, Heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus,
May your Spirit rekindle our feeling of your gift of love,
Fathi is hemo-dynamically stable with the various support he is receiving. There have not been many changes to his status, and there are no procedures planned for him. We are simply waiting and hoping for him to slowly recover.
Please pray for his lovely family, that they would feel so loved.
It was nice to see Fathi’s mother today, but sad that the news she shared with me was not so good for her baby. She told me that Fathi has an infection in the place where they did the surgery, and is on medicine for this. Still it was not possible to visit him in his room. Please keep lifting him up in prayer, as he is in a delicate situation with his body now fighting the infection.
I saw Fathi’s mother soon after I arrived in the hospital. She looked tired. She told me that since I had last seen her, Fathi’s heart had stopped and that he needed resuscitation. Now, she explained that it was not possible to go into the room and see him because his chest was open. So he is in complete isolation in the hospital. It was difficult to hear the news.
Later we sat together. The other mother that Fathi’s mom is friendly with, shared lunch with us. This time the other mother shared some photos with me of her baby who is in the ICU as well. I realized the blessing it is to have a friend to sit with during these hard times.
Hopefully the doctors will find they are able to close Fathi’s chest tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers, and that God will work a healing miracle in Fathi’s body.
co-authored by Ruth
At only 17 days old, Fathi was rushed to Sheba last night, an emergency baby from Gaza. In his short time here, he has had a stent placed to help promote blood flow.
We are so thankful for God’s peace in this intervention and for his wonderful mother who accompanied him. It is yet another reminder for us to be obedient to God’s call. We know He is working for good in all circumstances. We see this goodness throughout the Bible – He writes joy into sorrow, healing into pain, good into evil. I know with confidence, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still working for good in Fathi’s little life today.
Fathi’s mother is so kind and we even walked around the hospital a little bit. It was nice to hear about her family – she has three children. We really pray she will be surrounded by God’s peace in this uncertain time.