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.