Celebrating with ice cream
Thabet from Hebron came back to Sheba hospital today for an echo and check up, after his lengthy stay and treatment here over the last few months. Many of the doctors recognised him and greeted him and his father enthusiastically, exclaiming how healthy he looks. He is active, chatty and happy to play, and looks wonderful.
It’s hard to imagine that it is the same child who I met just at the beginning of this quarantine season. He was admitted due to a pulmonary haemorrhage and was gasping for breath when we met him, and soon after had to be intubated just to give his lungs a rest, and then taken into surgery to close a VSD in his heart.
The doctor today found Thabet to be healthy and his heart to be functioning well.
We celebrated the good news with an ice cream!
Thank God for the healing he has given to Thabet. We will see him again in a few months’ time and hopefully his family will be able to visit us in Jaffa.
I’m so happy to report that Thabet continues to do well. It has always been moving to see how invested his parents are and how deeply they adore their boy. A month and a half ago they couldn’t believe the state Thabet was in, two weeks ago was his surgery for VSD closure, and now he has been moved out of intensive care and is on a general pediatric floor, as he continues to receive his medicine.
You can even catch him walking around the hospital with his mum. Today Jonathan and Yousef saw him there and his mother who was joyful over her son’s improving health. Hopefully at some point next week, God willing, he will be able to go home to Hebron and properly enjoy their Ramadan holiday!
Thank you for your prayers for this precious boy. I won’t ever forget his parents tears as they looked at pictures of him the first time I met them, and now when we see them, his mother is beaming and Thabet is up and about, with bright eyes and red cheeks. Thank God for this wonderful recovery.
A successful surgery for Thabet
Thabet’s mother and I sat on a bench in the shade under a tree full of purple flowers. The gentle breeze blew a torrent of the flowers into the air, and then fell onto the ground. Even with masks covering our faces, the fresh air was so good.
It had been about three and a half hours since Thabet went in for his VSD closure surgery. Earlier I found his beautiful mother sitting by herself in the waiting area listening to Arabic prayer music. I was so happy to be with her for this time. We sat together and were joined at points by the mother of another Shevet child named Wasim. She knew well the anxiety of having her child in surgery. She recounted the day co-worker Georgia and I spent fifteen hours with them until Wasim’s surgery was finished.
It occurred to me that one of the best concepts in the Bible is demonstrated in Jesus when he says to his disciples that He will be with them always, until the very end. In our world of instant gratification and constant jumping from one thing to the next, the acts of staying, waiting, or simply being, have all lost meaning. But as humans this is exactly what we are hardwired to receive, as we receive it in our Savior. He is with us always, until the end, and because of Him, our lives at work with Shevet inevitably become displays of the One who waits, the One who stayed on the cross to finish the work of Salvation, the one who never leaves us. I told Thabet’s mum, I’m with you, the whole time, waiting and staying.
We talked on and off about her home, about where I lived in the States, about Thabet, and the custom of incessant video-calling during operations, – extremely common with families from Iraq and Gaza. Sometimes we didn’t talk at all. There was no need to force anything; this day was about her and Thabet. After a half hour outside, we went inside to wait for the duration of the surgery. At two O’clock, Thabet came out of surgery, his mum took in a sharp breath and we followed as he was brought to the elevators to bring him up to the ICU. Walking together, trailing the bed, we embraced – he was out, the surgery was successful and his heart function was good. Over and over she thanked God.
I wish, as I often do, I could convey the depth of emotion I feel after spending the waiting period with Thabet’s mother. So in this request, I ask you to pray for this beautiful family; Lord please safeguard Thabet’s health and grant an uncomplicated extubation and recovery, bring them to know the deep joy and love and mercy in God through Jesus Christ.
For our dear Thabet, we know that he is stable and still on a machine to help him breath and yet still with a virus affecting his lungs. This period of resting has been good for his body. Both his mum and his dad love him so much. I was praying for them over the weekend, that Jesus would bring restoration from this.
Today I heard a song with these lyrics:
“He heard my cries,
He bowed his ear and chased my griefs away
O let my heart no more despair
While I have breath, breath to pray
I love The Lord He chased my griefs away
Despair no more and use this breath to pray.”
This made me release that we should use our breath to pray, yes, but without despair. In this season of Lent, and with Good Friday approaching, we remember the suffering of our Lord, and the tears he cried for his sorrow was unto death. The humility and gentleness of Jesus chases our grief away, as He identifies with those who cry and suffer. We pray that He would heal Thabet’s body and mend the hearts of his beautiful parents. Lord use our breath to pray without despair, and chase our grief away. You hear our cries.
Thabet is a three year old boy from Hebron who has several complications. For now the doctors are looking at the issue of blood in his lungs and plan to do a procedure where they clean his lungs, hopefully this week or next.
He will be in and out of the hospital a lot while the doctors help with these many complications. He has a lovely mum and he loves to sit on her lap. Maybe its the only place for him where he feels safe and salvaged.
I became sad when I saw the tears in his mother’s eyes. I looked at this little man with all his difficult heart ailments. We don’t know what the Lord provides for him, but let’s trust Him for His healing Thabet.