It was so lovely to see Maryam today again. She loves stickers, and loves to name the colors of the stickers.
Maryam had a blood test and chest x-ray performed today. The chest x-ray results were worse than her last x-ray, and they have switched the form of one of her medications so it can act faster. During Maryam’s blood test, her oxygen dropped dangerously low. We hope that the doctors are able to perform a catheterization for Maryam, so that they can learn more about what is causing her low oxygen levels and to improve this situation. Please continue to pray for Maryam and her mother as they wait for improvement.
How can I describe Maryam (or Mimi as we call her)? She’s such a unique girl, so beautiful and creative and just bursting with life. As Shevet Head Nurse Colin and I stood by her bed, playing with stickers and chatting with Mimi’s mum, there was so much joy and laughter in the room. Even Mimi seemed to forget the tubes and monitors around her.
Even though she looks much butter, Mimi still has a long way to go. The plan is for her to have a CT scan tomorrow. After this, doctors will be able to decide if they can do a complete repair of her heart and start to plan the next steps of her treatment. She’s still on Oxygen support at the moment.
Please keep praying for God’s peace to surround Mimi and her mother, Sara. It is amazing to see everything he has already done in their lives. Sara explained today that Mimi loves the doctors and nurses; they all enjoy playing with her. Mimi used to be really afraid of all the medical staff; it’s amazing to see this fear completely turned around and to see her looking so calm and happy.
Maryam’s beautiful mum stood by her bedside today in the hospital and explained to me that Maryam’s oxygen levels are better than when she came into hospital, but still low. She has a nasal canula for oxygen support, which the mum is able to adjust depending on the saturation. It is much worse when Maryanm cries. Her breathing patterns are still quite unusual, and it was sad for her mum to think about the long journey of healing for her little Mimi.
Today she was due to have an x-ray and also to see the ENT doctor, to hopefully get a clearer picture of Mimi’s condition. It could be that she is aspirating when she drinks, and having the fluid go into her lungs. Whatever the doctors find out from their assessments, Maryam’s situation is difficult and upsetting for her mum. Please pray for them both during this time in the hospital.
It was a joy to welcome Maryam to our home in Jaffa. Her mother often said how Maryam would ask her if she could finally return “home”, to return to her new brothers and sisters. She fondly recalled each of the children’s names. The families here also welcomed them home with open arms.
Maryam went to Sheba Medical Center looking like Cinderella in a blue and white dress. This afternoon the hospital called to say please bring Maryam for surgery tomorrow, so there was a rush for Maryam’s mum, Sara, to pack and get herself and Maryam ready. The other families, most of whom have been through surgery now and know well how it feels, all helped Sara to get everything together that she’ll need for this time: sugar, tea, bread, biscuits, and a random role of paper toweling, were among the items the other mother’s packed for her.
Sara has been anticipating this day for a long time. Her daughter Maryam, or “Mimi,” does not like the hospital. As we waited for the room to be ready, Mimi was her normal self: pacing up and down the hallway or watching YouTube videos. At one point, Mimi saw another waiting mom at the hospital go off to pray, so Mimi also, right there in the hallway, knelt down, pressed her hands together in front of her face, and started praying too.
As we walked the halls, her mum told me that Mimi often says, “God will make a surgery of my heart” and in bringing them here he has done that. Tomorrow He will be with them and with the surgeons in the operating room. But it also amazed me that in that one sentence, this little two year old basically analogized the Gospel: it’s God doing heart surgery on us.
When the hospital room was ready, we went up to the sixth floor. Immediately Maryam began to have a catastrophic melt down, even though she did not yet have to face the cannula. The rooms, the tests, the doctors all scare her, and only her mother can bring her some semblance of peace. She cried so much that when the nurse left, she fell asleep. She drifted into sleep gazing up at her mother’s face and stroking her cheek. Sara and I prayed together afterwards for the surgery and the future, for the fear, and for full healing. In the words of Mimi, ‘God will make a surgery on my heart,’ and if He is for us, who can be against us?
Beautiful Maryam, or ‘Mimi’ as we’ve come to call her, had her diagnostic catheterization today at Sheba Medical Center.
Once again I was profoundly moved by this young woman’s faith. I think of the sermon on the mount when Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ The mother of Maryam has a beautiful and pure heart. She may be counted among that them that will see Him.
The cath ended after an hour and a half, and her mother was so happy to see Mimi again, who was already waking up when they brought her out! The cath went well and the doctors will discuss possible treatment options based on the diagnostic information they gathered today. Please pray for Maryam and her mother, that in this time they would grow deeper in knowing the love of God through Jesus.
She is very bright. She knows she only travels in the car when her destination is the hospital, so she understood where we were immediately. As she wept, her mum was the best comforter, always steady and calm for Maryam.
When we got to the hospital, she immediately went to their children’s play area. As she explored, I remarked to her mum that she is very intelligent, to which her mum replied, she knows she is!
After this, Maryam asked her mom for a purple balloon, which she dutifully received, and then grasped as we walked to her room in the secondary ICU. The nurses were so welcoming and kind to her. Two of them were Arabic-speaking and could communicate with her mother.
We said goodbye to each other before I left both of them! They are in such good care at Sheba hospital. Please pray for Maryam and her sweet mum!
For our new Kurdish princess, the first assessment was scheduled today. She hadn’t expected it when her mom woke her up in the morning. I think she sensed that something different was happening today be- cause she cried all of the way to Sheba Medical Center. She was so excited and scared that she ‘cast up her accounts’ in the car ride there.
But when we arrived, we were able to distract her with playing and the fear was gone. Thank you God, for calming her down! She mastered her first tests brilliantly. At first she will need a CT or a catheterization. The doctors are discussing about this and we will wait for the next appointment.