Ziad is working on taking food orally, which, God willing, he will be able to eat consistently. At just under eight kilos, there is hesitation to bring him into a big stomach surgery as he is still very weak, so please be in prayer for this sweet boy.
A few times he also raised his hand to say hello to me, which was so pleasing. Please continue to pray for him and his recovery process.
When I arrived to visit Ziad and his dad today, a nurse was inside checking his room to check on Ziad. Since yesterday he‘s not been doing well and has a fever but they don’t have know why. They tried to play with him with some toys but he wasn‘t amused and more sad and didn‘t want to play. So after a few minutes he just fell asleep. I asked the dad about his wife because they were planning for her to come to the hospital but he wasn‘t sure if and when she would be able to come because the borders are closed right now. Please continue praying so that the fever will disappear and he will become stable.
We found Ziad’s dad cheerfully by his side today, and Ziad at peace (as long as he can look up now and then and see that his papa is nearby). He still has good days and bad days, as his system is easily disrupted. Today, thank God, was a good day.
Ziad’s father is not willing to return home to Gaza until his son is stable enough to face conditions there. It is good to see his level of sacrificial commitment. This is what godly fathers do: lay down their lives for their wives and children.
Fortunately, the nurse spoke English well and told me that Ziad is recovering slowly and day by day, is getting better. So let‘s ask our Father in heaven to continue to help little Ziad.
Ziad’s father and I agreed today that it’s one thing to see pictures, it another thing to see this precious boy firsthand. It’s evident that he’s been through a long and difficult battle. It’s also evident from the way he gazes at his wonderful nurses that he knows he is loved:
Ziad’s father is committed to caring for his son; let’s recommit ourselves to do our part in prayer and support for this faithful family.
Today at Sheba Medical Center, Ziad had a Tracheostomy. The doctors are now waiting for the results from his X-ray and other tests, in order to decide the next steps for Ziad.
During this visit, I asked Ziad’s father how we can try to help him and he answered, ” My help is from God, and we must pray and pray to him that God will heal him.” I expressed to him that we are praying for Ziad and for them his parents also, that they will have strength during this time.
Please continue praying for this little one. We’re thankful that our good, good Father is in control.
Today, co-worker Julio went to pick up the father of little Ziad today from the Gaza border to bring him to the hospital. It was lovely to meet him, and they chatted about many things, having a connection over how they enjoy Columbian coffee in Gaza. As they spoke about Ziad, Julio shared that he fondly calls him “Zizu”, deeming the father to therefore be “Abu Zizu” or father of Zizu. Julio encouraged him with how loved and precious his son is, and how we have been praying for him so much.
Praise the Lord they were able to enter the hospital smoothly. It was an emotional and very special moment as Ziad’s mother reached the car to see him. The two parents hugged each other, finally they were able to see each other for a brief moment after so many long, difficult and heavy months apart.
Each of them has been carrying a big burden; we have seen Ziad’s mother faithfully standing at the side of her son, through multiple surgeries and events for more than six months. Ziad’s father has now come to replace the mother and she returned home to Gaza today to be with her other children. Praise the Lord for this beautiful moment, and please keep praying for God’s will in Ziad’s life.
A week after the surgery to treat a wound infection, Ziad’s chest was successfully closed today at Sheba Medical Center. His mother came down to the fourth floor waiting area to spend there.
It was a busy day as there were three Gaza families that came to the hospital for admissions, and there was an Echo appointment. But I thank God because the timing worked out where I could be fully present with Ziad’s mother for most of the closure procedure.
She has been through this many times, and today was a minor procedure compared to some of the other operations Ziad has been through. She has become like a sister to me and so just to be there with her was a priority. No matter how long of a day it was, spending time with her is always something I look forward to.
Please keep praying for this family. It is my prayer that the Gaza border will approve permission for her husband to come and be Ziad’s guardian for a time so she can return home and embrace her two other boys.
Please pray for him as his body is so tired. His sweet presence is so missed by his mother, his family, and all those who’ve loved him. Please pray he can come back to us.
Literally a minute later, I turned around in response to hearing the sound of a hospital bed coming towards me. It was little Ziad, with his chest still open. Following him was his mother, holding co-worker Alena’s hand. It warmed my heart to see them together, and the bond that they have formed.
As I’m writing this, it has been 14 hours since Ziad’s surgery started. The surgery itself finished after five hours. According to doctors, they were able to accomplish what they wanted, but due to pulmonary hypertension, Ziad had to be placed on the ECMO machine, which is taking over for his heart and lungs.
The hope is that in a few days, after his body has rested and adjusted, he will come off the machine, but there was a large amount of bleeding after the fact. The doctors are still working to stabilize him late into the night.
Please pray, and intercede for Ziad and his mum. Looking to God for Ziad’s protection.
He was really engaged and active; we did the airplane game so he would eat more of his yogurt which was a success. His mother was also in good spirits, and as always was a joy to be with.
Please pray for Ziad’s fever to come down so that it is safe for him to have surgery next week!
Ziad’s mom was just finishing up his bathing, ostomy care, and dressing him when I arrived to his hospital room in Sheba Medical Center. She quickly gave him her phone, and Ziad pressed the button to start the “Chicken Dance” song! He seemed to enjoy my chicken-like motions, and even waved his arms a few times in time to the beat!
It’s easy to see that Ziad is more tired and breathing more heavily than he was in the past; we hope that his next heart surgery will happen one day this week, and that having this intervention will bring needed improvement.
Please pray for Ziad and mother, who are both tired of the hospital, but aware that for Ziad’s medical needs, it is best to be there for care.
His physical therapist walked in when we doing “baby shark” together. He encouraged us to keep doing this with Ziad as this assists in what she routinely does during his physical therapy sessions to help with his mobility.
Ziad was in good spirits today at the hospital, dancing along to various songs. It is so lovely to see Ziad smile.
His mom says he is only slightly better. If you could quantify this improvement, it would be smaller than a grain of rice, she says.
She mentioned there would be a heart catheterization for him soon. We pray that he will continue to recover and gain strength for his next procedure.
We pray he will continue to dance….
Today, we found Ziad on the fifth floor in the General Pediatric Ward of Sheba Medical Center. He was moved here three days ago from the Intensive Care Unit. He is receiving injections for a blood clot in one leg. He had an ultrasound to check the status of the clot. He is also still on antibiotics from his infection that sent him to the ICU, but he was awake, alert, and in an interactive mood today.
He is receiving milk through a nasal tube but is also slowly eating solid foods as well, and praise God his stomach has been able to handle it. Please keep praying for precious Ziad and his mother who is very tired after four months and still a long way to go.
Through many ups and downs has the Lord brought Ziad. We thank him for the work of healing thus far.
Ziad was taken to the ICU this morning after four days with an unabated fever. He has bacteria in his blood that possibly issued from the sight of his stomach surgery. His little frame is so frail and his body is struggling to fight this infection. It has been, quite honestly, very upsetting to see him continually so unwell, and then somehow get even worse.
As I sat contemplating what to pray for, the words from one of my favorite hymns repeated in my head, “What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul? What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.”
I find that with those words, I remember Paul’s words, “He who did not spare his only Son.” Because of the ultimate act of love we see in Jesus, I know I can trust in the grace of God, He is a safe place.
May your grace, Lord, be the refuge for Ziad’s mom. Thank you for giving our minds the comprehension to understand medicine and for creating our bodies to respond to medication. May the antibiotics fight off the bacteria which is in his blood stream. Amen.
He enjoyed looking at pictures in our phone as his mother was trying to feed him. In general, they were in a good mood. There is not yet a decision about when to perform the next surgery. Keep him in your prayers, that Ziad would soon be bacteria-free and fever-free.
Ziad was moved to the second floor, which is now a part of the Intermediate Cardiac ICU at Sheba Medical Center. Praise God, neurologically he is looking much better! He has been sitting up and has been more interactive.
He is waiting for his Hirschsprung’s Disease surgery, which may be next week. Please pray for Ziad as he waits for his next procedure.
You’ve heard it said, slow and steady wins the race. And while we’d love it if every child could recover quickly and smoothly after surgery we can’t thank God enough that he has spared the life of Ziad. So far he is continuing to recover although very slowly.
When we saw him today, he was looking good and still on oxygen support. Please continue to pray for God’s hand to cover him and protect him. We can see even now evidence of God’s hand on his life and we pray that someday he will see the wonderful ways that God was (and is still) working in him.
When my wife Anna and I met Ziad and his mum today, the surgeons came into his hospital room to speak about the scheduling of his next surgery.They also told us that they prescribed him antibiotics for the following six weeks to support his fight against the bacteria. Hopefully it all goes up for him soon.
To see him in this helpless state is so woesome. But I am reminded in II Corinthians 12, 9 of what He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
He will have an ultrasound today of his abdomen to help identify what needs to be done for his future surgery. He cannot have his abdominal surgery until his condition is stable. Ziad is also receiving physiotherapy and treatments for his lungs.
His mother was bathing Ziad today, and she cared for him so beautifully and lovingly. She is so gentle with Ziad, and every time he opens his eyes, she is eager to see him.
Please continue to pray for Ziad as he recovers, and hopefully moves towards stability.
I was anxious to find out how Ziad was doing after the bad news yesterday. It was such a relief to hear that he has improved a lot and the doctors were even hoping to extubate him today.
Praise God for this change!
It was so good to see Ziad again today and the first thing I noticed was that he was extubated! They did the extubation two days ago, and since then he was been withdrawing also from the sedation. He has been diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease which affects his colon. He will need a surgery for this but first the doctors want to make sure his heart is completely well. And they will still do an interventional heart catheterization, hopefully at some point this week!
Ziad was moving around a lot today and responded when he heard his father on the phone, which are hopeful indicators for further improvement. Please keep praying for this beautiful boy and his wonderful mum.
Today we got to go into the Children’s’ Cardiac Ward at Sheba Medical for the first time in months as the Corona restrictions are methodically relaxed, and to get to visit Ziad and his mum was very special.
He was supposed to have a catheterization today, but due to a recent fever it has been postponed. He was intubated still as he is unable to breathe on his own. The nurse said that his heart is working, but not well enough.
Seeing his mum was like seeing a dear sister. I was so happy to be with her again. She explained that he didn’t have a fever last night but in the days previously and that the cath he will have is supposed to be interventional.
Everyday she asks a nurse or doctor if he is better than the previous one. As she told me this, she was full of hope that each new day would bring for her son. She is very eager to see him recover but also committed to be by his side until he is fully well, no matter how long that road is.
Ziad’s mother reports today that he has a fever and swollen abdomen, which his doctors are attempting to get under control. They’re planning on a heart catheterization tomorrow to try to understand why his condition is not improving, and also hoping still to wean him from mechanical ventilation.
Ziad is still in the ICU and on mechanical ventilation, with doctors reducing his breathing support slowly in an attempt to wean him from the device. Ziad’s mother reports that he may also have a heart catheterization on Tuesday to explore the reasons for his slow recovery. These are the times that both child, family and doctors are all in need of our faithful prayer support.
The report from Ziad’s mother is that he is struggling the day after his surgery, with complications including bleeding. Father, thank you for the care Ziad is receiving, both from your hand and through these doctors you have gifted to help him.
It was another full day of studies for Ziad today, as doctors learn everything they can about his condition before decided how to approach repair of his heart defect. Mom reports that he is still awaiting a head CT before a decision can be made.
Today we found Ziad catching some zzzzs as he waited for his heart catheterization. Doctors at Sheba wish to study the anatomy of his heart more carefully in order to plan a course of surgery. It’s not an easy repair, and Ziad’s young mother expressed her gratitude for their acceptance at Sheba after two other hospitals turned her son away.
Just under two years old, Ziad from Gaza came for an echo today. It showed DORV and pulmonary atresia, but because he is stable the original plan was to have him go back to Gaza and come in month for a CT scan and cath.
However Amar and Jonathan helped with having Ziad stay at the hospital for the CT scan and cath now because if he went back today they would have to stay in a hospital in Gaza, completely isolated for 28 days due to coronavirus quarantine.
In order to hospitalize Ziad today, this meant he would must pass a corona test today. The results were fast tracked, and all the staff was very helpful. In the end we waited six hours together for them, and though neither Georgia nor I expected the day to go like this, it was a really beautiful time. We were sitting together and talking. Initially when she arrived, Ziad’s mum was very apprehensive as Sheba was new to her. But over the hours, and this is perhaps one of my favorite things, she gradually warmed up to the circumstances and to us. Not just in spoken details about her life, but in her mannerisms, in her smile, and even by the end we understood eachother much better than at first though there was little change in how I spoke Arabic. But much of translation is dependent on relationship and certainly if one thing can bond people together it is sitting in a hospital eating dinner and praying the corona test results come back negative.
Ziad also got used to his surroundings and after about five hours of being together he started to smile. Georgia and I played peek a boo with him and found other ways to evoke his infectious laugh, like playing with our masks. It is a wonder to meet each child and see a little bit of how God has made them specifically. It was a blessing to enjoy one another for these hours.
At 8:45 we got the results: no corona! We brought them to the children’s ward and once they were settled we said goodbye (and goodnight). Half way to the car we realized we forgot something in her room, so I ran back to get the bag we had left behind. We hugged and she asked if we would be at the hospital tomorrow (I told her Georgia would be and that I would see her in two days) and we said goodbye again with much laughter and love.
So even though today was an unexpected journey, it was a really special day with a very special new family. Please pray for Ziad and his mother. He will be having a cath this week to assess his heart, and we trust in God that he holds his future.