This morning coworker Elisabeth and I drove to Hadassah hospital to be with Wael’s mom after doctors took him in for his third heart surgery. In the surgery the doctors switched his aorta and his pulmonary artery and also the lower chambers of his heart.
Everything went well and after nearly ten hours of waiting Wael was stable and intubated back in his room in the ICU. He will stay there for at least 48 hours as those is the most critical time after surgery. Hopefully after this he can be extubated and moved to the pediatric ward, depending on how he is improving.
Today they were able to fix everything they needed to so there are no plans for further surgeries in future. Thank you for praying for little Wael and his mother!
Ten days more of antibiotics
Today, Wael’s mother and I started with Wael at 8:30 in the morning, traveling to Hadassah hospital in outer Jerusalem by train-rail and it was fun.
When he was assigned to his room, he found someone to play with.
He was very happy playing with a clown, (people volunteer to visit patients in hospitals dressed up and they make you smile).
Then doctors did the cannulation, which is not so fun for baby and momma.
The doctor says that Wael has to stay in the hospital taking antibiotics for ten days, and then he will have the surgery.
Please pray for Wael so that everything goes well, with God’s help.
After Wael and his mother settled in at our home in Ashdod yesterday, Wael started to throw up in the evening. Also he had a high fever. The doctor said if that happens, we should go to the ER.
So, Wael’s mother, coworker Hanna and I, all packed our bags quickly and were on our way to Hadassah Hospital’s ER in Jerusalem.
From the beginning on we had to wait a lot in the ER. Wael wasn’t doing well at all, but still he was very peaceful and strong. The poor guy even had to throw up again. The nurses took some blood tests, what was very hard for Wael. At least he was then very tired and could sleep. His mother was all the time faithfully at his side and tried to also sleep next to him.
At three o’clock in the morning, the doctors said they want to watch Wael until seven o’clock to decide if he needs to be hospitalized. So, coworker Hanna and I tried to sleep for a few hours on a little bed next to Wael’s bed with many background noises of an ER. It was definitely an interesting long night with nearly no sleep for us.
At eight o’clock in the morning, the doctors finally explained to us that Wael seems to be okay to go home. His fever and throwing up probably came from the bronchoscopy yesterday. He got some antibiotics to treat his sickness. They should come back as planned to Hadassah on Sunday for Wael’s further treatment.
So, we could finally head back to Ashdod and Wael is already doing a lot better.
During this crazy night, I was really impressed by Wael’s mom. She never complained, just took the situation as it was, and did the best for her son and gave him the comfort he needed. She also always had a smile left for us. Wael’s mom, Hanna and I, had still a lot of fun together and still laughed at three o’clock in the night together.
God watched over us. This night in the ER was definitely somehow a good experience. For Wael, we hope so much that he will be fine. This afternoon he already looked so much better. Hopefully he can have his needed treatment on Sunday.
Please pray for Wael.
Wael was taken today from the Ashdod house to Hadassah Hospital for his admission there. He slept in the van.
Once we arrived to Hadassah, the admission process kept Wael fairly occupied…
looking around and being very quiet.
Then a nurse placed a blood pressure cuff on Wael’s wrist and all good feelings were gone.
They asked Wael and his mother to wait in a small play room at the end of the hall. There was a little orthodox Jewish child in the room with his father, who was very kind to Wael. He encouraged the two boys to share the rocking horse, which Wael did. Wael was very gracious.
Soon their room was ready. Wael is presently receiving an antibiotic IV so that the lung congestion can get cleared up once and for all. We said goodbye, and that we’d visit them in a day or two.
Trusting God with the rest.
Today, coworker Willem and I picked up Wael and his mother at Erez Crossing Point. Together we drove to our home in Ashdod, where they will stay with us over the weekend.
On Sunday, Wael will be admitted to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem to get the procedures done he had to wait for due to a lung infection. Cute Wael had already a long day today and slept immediately in the car.
Please pray for Wael, that all his procedures to go well and that he recovers quickly. Pray also for his lovely mother, who stays patiently at his side.
Today, coworkers Doro and I drove to our Jerusalem guesthouse to collect Wael and his mother to bring them back to Gaza.
After his bronchoscopy yesterday at Hadassah Hospital, he was discharged to Gaza where he can be with his family for about two weeks and remain on an antibiotic to help clear an infection in his lungs. Doctors would like to see him again after that.
We had to drive a bit to Gaza and we had a fun time with Wael and his lovely mother. He was playing with everything he could find in the car and made me laugh a lot. Coworker Margarita (above) was returning to our Ashdod base with us as well.
Please continue to pray for him and the success of his further treatment.
Today Wael had his bronchoscopy at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem.
The doctors found an infection in his lungs and have prescribed him an antibiotic to battle the infection. His next appointment to check Wael’s lungs is April 14th.
Tomorrow, the doctors will meet and make the decision for Wael’s second heart surgery. Please pray that everything goes well and little Wael gets a healing touch from the Lord.
Today coworker Margarita and I drove together with cute little Wael and his lovely mother from our guesthouse in Jerusalem to Hadassah hospital.
First they check his oxygen level and then we went to his pulmonary artery appointment.
They sent us to a specialist in another building (so we walk more often between these two buildings). He looked at him and sent us to do an X-Ray. The doctor said that an area of his left side of the lungs is sick. Maybe it is because his left main bronchitis is narrowed, but they don’t know for sure. That’s the reason why they are going to do a procedure this Sunday in the morning to see what the reason is for that.
After this appointment they will see how they have to treat him further.
During the waiting time he loved to play in the little playing area and he drove really proud a lot with this little car around.
Let’s pray for wisdom for the doctors and for blessings over this little boy and his mother.
After everything was done, Margarita drove together with them back to the guesthouse in Jerusalem to stay there until Sunday.
Today, coworker Margarita and I picked up cute Wael and his lovely mother at the Erez Crossing point. Together we drove to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for his echo appointment.
The doctor said that his heart is okay, but it needs further treatments. The main problem are the lungs and they have to treat them first. His left lower section of the lungs is very sick.
Also the artery is too small, which is going to the left side of the lungs, and so most of the blood is coming to his right side of the lungs.
Tomorrow Wael will have an appointment for his pulmonary artery and then doctors will have to think about the next steps for him.
After today’s appointment in the hospital, all of us drove to our guesthouse in Jerusalem, where we are staying for one night. Wael loves to play with toys and he is a very active child in general, what is really nice to see.
Please pray for him, his mother, the appointment tomorrow and for wisdom for the doctors.
A wonderful two days; CT scan
Yesterday and today was a very nice time with Wael and his mother. I picked them up at the Erez Border crossing and we drove to the Jerusalem guesthouse for one night. We spent the afternoon together playing and walking in Jerusalem. Wael’s mother was very happy to see the mosque. When Wael went to bed, his mother and I chatted on the terrace. We could have real conversation although we used a translation application on the cell phone most of the time. It felt like talking to a friend already, because she is my age.
The next morning, we went to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem. Wael was supposed to have a CT-Scan, but at the beginning there where some misunderstandings and problems, so that we had to wait for a long time. Although it felt not that long because we stayed in touch with the friendly staff of the hospital. It was a blessing being there because everyone was so helpful and nice to us. Also everything was in the perfect timing at the end. Praise God.
Wael was very impatient of course, because he was fasting during the waiting time for the CT-Scan. In the recovery after the scan, they cared for Wael very nicely.
After breakfast, Wael’s mood was even better, but still tired because of the anesthesia. Wael smiled at us and waved at me many times later. Although he knows me not that long, it was nice to see him trusting me. One time, when Wael and his mother went to the bathroom, he waved at me until he disappeared behind the corner and couldn’t see me anymore.
After this long day, I dropped them off at the border crossing and looked back at two wonderful days. My highlight was when Wael’s mother told me I’m doing hard work and that God is helping me and He will guide me through.
Now we are waiting for Wael’s next appointment. Please pray for good health for Wael.
CT scan scheduled for tomorrow
Today I traveled to the Gaza border crossing to bring another child from Gaza to our Jerusalem Guest House today.
Little Wael had surgery with us in 2019 as a newborn and has returned for some follow-up work.
Tonight he’s eating well as he’ll be fasting tomorrow morning before undergoing a CT of his heart at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Thank you for your prayer covering for little Wael.
After visiting Wael and his mother on Tuesday and Wednesday, I came also today to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem for his discharge. The hospital discharged him without the CT scan, but still we had to wait for the discharge papers.
As on the other days it was fun for both of us. He already recognized me on the first visit after I brought him and his mother to the hospital and came towards me with open arms. I think these visits have been the best in my whole time at Shevet. We played with a ball and Wael was very exited to discover the hospital and walk around everywhere, even trying to open doors as you can see in the picture.
I’m so happy to be able to spend this time with him, because he’s so joyful and active. Especially when I think that I couldn’t see any difference on the day after his cath compared to the day before, I have to thank God.
So after getting the discharge papers, we left the hospital and drove back to Gaza. He slept the whole drive and after arriving at the Erez crossing, I could hold him in my arms for a last time to say good bye. Please pray for him, that his current health condition will hold on, PTL!
Today, little Wael from Gaza had his diagnostic cath at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. When I arrived, the sweet, young mother told me the cath was already finished, and that all had went well. She was waiting for the team to bring Wael out from the operating room, and it didn’t take long before they did.
Wael’s mother tried to keep up with the moving bed to see how he was, and still she seemed so calm. We followed the team to a room where nurses wired him to machines to monitor his condition while waking up after the cath. He started to cry and turn around in the bed.
A nurse asked Wael’s mother to put him on her knee instead. It only took a couple of minutes and a little song to make him calm and to fall asleep again. You could almost touch the peace and security she imparted to her little son, and it was a beautiful moment.
Suddenly he opened his eyes and was fully awake, and it was time to bring his bed to the room where they will spend the night. Hopefully he is well enough, and he sure seemed so, to go home tomorrow.
A full day for Wael, cath tomorrow
This morning I left our community house in Jerusalem to drive to Gaza. Arriving there, Wael and his mother were already outside of the Erez border crossing, so the transition worked without problems.
We drove together to Hadassah Medical Center. It was my first time going to Hadassah with a child, so I got navigated by my co-worker Alena via video-call to find the right area. While we were waiting to register, Wael and I were sharing a small bag of popcorn which was funny, because he liked it when we ate a piece of popcorn each at the same time. After the regestering, we went to the pediatric department for the first check-up.
Waiting there, another mother gave Wael an inflated glove and he liked to throw it and then catch it again. During his check-up, he was weighed, measured, had a cannula applied, had an echocardiogram and also an X-ray. This was a full day for him and his mother, but Wael was very brave and cried just during the cannula application.
After all the stress, they were released to go into their prepared hospital room where his mother put him in his bed and gave him some milk. After that, he was completely calm and quiet.
His catheterization will already be tomorrow, so please pray for Wael, the doctors, his mother and our Jerusalem-based co-worker Berith, who will wait in support of Wael’s mother during the catheterization procedure.
Wael came from Gaza today with his beautiful mother. Although Wael has been in Israel before for treatment, this was his mother’s first time accompanying him.
It was a long drive from the Erez border crossing with Gaza to Sheba hospital, but Wael was asleep for most of it. Once we arrived at Hadassah Hospital, his mother took in the sight of the bustling foyer of this large and imposing hospital as we navigated our way to checking in for Wael’s Echo-cardiogram.
As we waited for him to be seen by the Cardiologist, an Israeli toddler with a similar diagnosis befriended Wael, and her mother was interested to hear how Wael from Gaza had come to Haddassah.
Wael has only ever been calm each time I’ve seen him, but once the Echo started, he quite strongly fought against it. While he was crying, his mother exclaimed, “He was a baby when he had the surgery, how can he remember this?”
But thankfully it didn’t take long for the doctors to get good images of his heart. They would like to do a diagnostic Catheterization in one month to plan for his second surgery.
After this, we went to the mall in the hospital where Wael’s mother got some snacks and drinks for the ride back to Gaza.
Today was really wonderful with this family. Even though we just met, we could communicate in Arabic quite well together. It was easy for me to understand her, so I could ask the questions she wanted to ask of the doctor.
Please keep Wael in your prayers. We will see him in one month for his Catheterization, Lord willing.
Reunion with Wael from Gaza
Today when co-worker Claudia and I got to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karim, the day began with extreme overcrowding in all of their parking garages. I am very used to Sheba hospital, so in my mind I was observing how one is similar to the other and the hectic traffic patterns certainly transcend location and are the norm for both.
I’ve not visited Hadassah with a co-worker from the Jerusalem base yet, which Claudia is, but I got a beautiful picture of what life is like for all volunteers at Shevet. When we found Wael (from the Gaza Strip), now two months old, waiting by the echo area, Claudia’s face broke into a huge smile as she greeted him and his great auntie. This was the first time I was meeting him, but for her it was a reunion. There was so much love between them, as was built by the many hours of fellowship that Claudia, and the rest of the Jerusalem staff poured into the relationship during his hospitalization period.
Although they cannot speak the same language, it was amazing to see this deep friendship; this is true for every family and all staff, but today as I observed, I felt like I was seeing the beauty of Shevet Achim with fresh eyes. I saw inexpressible joy as she could now hold in her arms this baby she had seen confined to a bed and attached to tubes.
In some ways, we stumbled through the day, because of the chaotic parking and after the echo, the cardiologist said to meet with the surgeon, and then we had to check in for that and figure out where we were going. But it was good for us both to learn the process, and God’s grace brought us through. We were so thankful to hear that Wael’s first surgery looks great. There is also no fluid around his heart, which is always something to give thanks for.The surgeon said there is no concern for him to return to Gaza, and that he will be in contact about his next surgery, though the cardiologist did say he would be eligible for the next surgery when he reaches 10 kilos- for reference he’s about 4 kilos now!
The route back to Gaza from Hadassah took us through the beautiful hills and valleys of Jerusalem, it was impossible not to experience an inkling of the One who created nature; it was beckoning us to Himself. I pray that Wael and his great auntie would experience this also.
When we said goodbye at Erez, the border crossing between Israel and Gaza,Wael’s auntie told Claudia, “Next time, bring Johanna (who is another women on the Jerusalem staff) also with you!” Which again illustrated to me the sacred connection happens in Shevet Achim.
Written by Margarita
Yesterday, co-worker Johanna and I were visiting Baby Wael and his Aunt at Hadassah Medical Center. Wael and his Aunt were waiting for his last Echo and the wait became a bit long. While we shared lunch with Auntie, we understood that she would be a little anxious, not knowing what was going to happen. When the time came, we were all waiting and watching. We took some pictures.
Then the doctor gave us the good news that Baby Wael could go home without any problem. We thanked God for that good news.
As they gave us permission to return Wael home, we communicated with our Jerusalem base where Claudia, another co-worker, was waiting to come collect us, and drive us to the Gaza border.
We also prayed, as always in Shevet, to place our trip in God’s hands. Our mission was to reach the Gaza border crossing before it closed. For me, it was a new experience. I had never traveled to the border before.
Wael’s aunt was very happy and thanked us for all we had done. We returned to Jerusalem very happy for having been a support channel for the families in Gaza.
Wael released from intensive care
Yousef found a beaming great aunt when he arrived at Hadassah Medical Center today. Wael, just days earlier between life and death, was already discharged from the ICU into the general children’s ward. This means he is out of danger, thank God, and well on the way to returning home to his family.
“You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
When we came to the hospital today we found baby Wael wrapped in a blanket, and lying in this fancy sliding “manger”. It reminded us of the very first Christmas. (Even Jesus’ manger probably won’t have looked like out of space.) Every newborn child is such a miracle, but still nothing compares to our Lord Jesus coming down to us as a helpless child.
It must have been an incredible feeling for the shepherds: first, the frightening angel visitation and then seeing the little babe, knowing that this is the Savior of the world. Love makes vulnerable. So you can imagine how much God has to love us to become a small baby just like Wael.
Wael is already looking better. They removed his nasal oxygen tube. Now his satuation is between 70% and 80%, which is okay.
I was really happy to hold the tiny little boy in my arms. It hurts me to see these little ones lying in the beds and not getting that much body contact as they need and as they would get at home.
He was sleeping the whole time, only waking up for some seconds to drink a bit of milk. It was a very peaceful time with him and his very hospitable great-aunt.
written by Claudia and Johanna
Wael is doing well and recovering now. He will need a big surgery in about one year, but for now the family can relax. The name Wael means rescuer or protector. Praise God, our greatest Rescuer! For He has rescued this precious little boy!
Even when the city is cold in the mornings we found a beautiful woman with a warm heart, who is taking care of her little great nephew. She came alongside Wael’s grandpa to be at Hadassah Hospital during the emergency. This morning after a long wait, we received good news, the surgery was successful.
During the waiting time we talked with the great-aunt. She was so kind and friendly, she even shared her lunch with us. This showed us the hospitality and warmth of this awesome culture. She proudly showed us pictures of her big family. We laughed together about funny and cute animal pictures. This woman really has a nice sense of humor.
Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without the father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid: you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matthew 10,31)
Five-day-old Wael from Gaza arrived yesterday to Hadassah Hospital as an emergency. When we entered the room today, we were surprised to see three guardians with the little boy. They were Wael’s grandfather with his brother and sister. It turned out that the men were only visiting for the day and just the woman, Wael’s Grand Aunt, would stay over night. But I was touched to see how much support this precious child is getting from his family. And how much more does this little life matter to our heavenly Father! The family was very open and communicative from the beginning on. We prayed for Wael and for his surgery which will be tomorrow.
Later I had a good conversation with the Aunt about her family, the situation in Gaza and so on. I told her that we are praying for peace in Gaza.