Sadly, due to the coronavirus, it is not possible to visit Mahmoud in the section of the hospital he is in. We saw him this week coming for an echo, as the doctors need to continue to monitor his heart. He is still in the hosptial receiving medication for the infection which he has in his heart and blood, and may still be here for some time.
For more than a month, we have been visiting Mahmoud and his lovely grandmother in the same hospital room in the intensive care unit. We have been praying for him every day, rejoicing in every step of his improvement.
Today Mahmoud was transferred to a lower acuity cardiac unit. His grandmother was beaming with gladness, and we join her in this. Please continue to pray for Mahmoud, as he continues to take slow steps towards returning to his family in Gaza.
More fluid has been noticed in Mahmoud’s lungs. The doctors are increasing a medication to help reduce this fluid, and are hoping that he will be able to respond well. His grandmother is patient, as always, and praying for him. Please continue to pray for Mahmoud and his family as they patiently wait for his recovery.
At Mahmoud’s side is his beautiful grandmother, faithfully celebrating every small step. Seeing her joy made me smile even more. She stood next to his bed and smiled at her grandson than she turned and showed us a bottle of milk. With a huge smile, she told us that Mahmoud was slowly drinking on his own. But the good news didn’t even end there. She showed us that Mahmoud doesn’t have a catheter any more.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29,11
‘For you created his innermost being; You covered him in his mother’s womb…’ Psalm 139:13
When I asked a nurse if there has been any changes to Mahmoud’s condition since yesterday, she said: “Not yet, but we’re trying to extubate him now.” Praise God that I was there at the right time! Mahmoud’s lovely grandma and I were asked to leave the room. She is so brave and patient in every way; when the family called her on her cell phone she started crying.
She was all the more happy and relieved when we came back into the room and found her grandson without the tube in his mouth. In my opinion, the children’s faces look always so different once they have been extubated.
The doctor said the next 24 hours will decide if Mahmoud can stay with less oxygen support or not.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9
Heavily Father your kingdom come, your will be done in Mahmoud’s life.
One step at a time Mahmoud is improving. His way to health and returning home is long but he is fighting strongly. It has been a while since I have seen Mahmoud and I smiled widely as I heard and saw that he is doing better.
When Mahmoud’s grandma saw us, she smiled widely and came into the room with a very joyful spirit. The atmosphere in the room lit up. She said repeatedly “Praise the Lord” and told us that the doctors think he is stable enough and that they will try to extubate Mahmoud later. Her joy was contagious and we celebrated with her this big step towards home.
Our little hero is moving closer to his goal.
Earlier in the morning, before the extubation attempt, it was amazing to see Mahmoud open his eyes again. He was no longer under the “blue light”. His overall organ functions, including his liver, are slowly improving. The nurse described it as Mahmoud slowly walking out of his sepsis phase. The hospital team attempted an extubation today, but they were unable to wean him off of mechanical ventilation. In response to this, his grandmother still smiled and patiently said that she hopes he will slowly get better. We continue to pray for him as he recovers, and we know that God is with him.
The grandma is in reasonably good spirits, and often is interacting socially with others in a similar situation to her in the hospital which is nice to pass the time.
The doctors are working diligently to determine the type of bacteria, and to assist Mahmoud in his recovery process.
When his grandmother woke up, she smiled at me and we sat together. She shared how the previous day was very difficult for her and Mahmoud, and she gave details about his blood pressure and the amount of blood he needed to receive. She smiled still, and said that she was happy that he was feeling better today.
We pray that Mahmoud and his grandmother would be able to rest both physically and spiritually, to find that true rest in the Lord whose wisdom and power are beyond comprehension.
My day with this tough boy started as I met his grandmother outside of the ICU. The sadness and worry in her eyes spoke it’s own language. As I approached her she started smiling weakly and told me Mahmoud had some kind of problem. In order to find out more, I entered his room and encountered this beautiful baby with his eyes wide open. It was the first time I got to see his eyes and I smiled. Underneath all those cables and wires, there was this beautiful boy who was starting to explore the world with his eyes but all he can explore are the white walls of this Hospital.
Mahmoud is laying here apart from his mother and father in an uncomfortable environment and his body is not working as it should. I was updated by a nurse that his blood pressure had gone down and that he is doing worse than yesterday. Standing next to his bed I started praying over him and as I looked at him once again I thought how beautifully Mahmoud was created by God.
Mahmoud’s grandmother entered the room and through all that sorrow and pain I saw a tall, standing- strong woman. Seeing Mahmoud like this hurt her deeply, but she fought back and was still able to smile at me. Even when the staff told us to wait outside, she stood strong and was constantly praying for him. I joined her in prayer silently and we sat there both thinking about this precious boy. Going back into Mahmoud’s room, his grandmother sat in her place next to Mahmoud’s bed, pouring out all her love for him.
As I revisited Mahmoud and his grandmother later that day, I asked a doctor if there had been any change in Mahmoud’s condition and he explained to me that Mahmoud is fighting a bacterial sepsis and that they are doing everything they can to support him. We will continue joining his grandmother in prayer so that Mahmoud will be able to explore more of this beautiful world.
written by Anna and Colin
Yesterday, the surgeons placed in Mahmoud a BT shunt to help improve the blood flow to his lungs. This will help improve his oxygen levels as well. Mahmoud was not extubated today. His hands and eyes were swollen from excessive fluid build up.
When we stroked his hands, he slightly opened his little eyes. It was so precious to see this, as we had never seen his eyes open before. They are beautiful, the color of deep blue and green mixed together.
The doctors are hoping that he will be extubated tomorrow. We pray that his health would continue to improve.
Mahmoud’s grandma is such great company. Today was the day of Mahmoud’s surgery and we spent quite a long time together during the long wait. Between the frequent phone calls from her family back in Gaza, she introduced me to other people in the hospital whom she’s come to know. They were all so kind and friendly; it’s so nice to see the little community they have together.