Trusting in the grace of God
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.
Ziad looks so frail, but he has his mother’s strong heart. When his mother told us his weight, we realized how small he is. She hopes her son can regain weight and strength. He needs extra supplements to maintain his nutritional health. Coworker Georgia and I enjoyed our time together with Ziad, which may have also involved a little bit of dancing. He enjoyed watching videos on the phone of other children from Shevet Achim. Please pray that Ziad would grow and also to find his strength in God.
Ziad's steps toward improvement
It was so lovely to see Ziad and his mother, who was smiling at the improvement of her son.
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.
The results of the ultrasound from yesterday look encouraging!
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.”
Hopefully moving towards stability
Patiently, at Sheba Medical Center, Ziad is waiting for the neurologist to visit him to assess his brain condition.
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 had a special time waiting with Ziad’s hopeful and sweet mother today during his catheterisation. She was in a good spirit, even though she was worried about the risk of possible brain damage during the procedure. It was very enjoyable to spend time with her, and to get to know her more. It is a difficult time, to see many of the other children seeming to be improving faster, and being moved into other departments. His mother is waiting earnestly yet patiently for her own baby’s recovery.
The cath was not too long. When Ziad was brought back to his room, the doctor shared that they were able to use a balloon to dilate his pulmonary artery. However, the pressure of his lungs is still high, and it had been a difficult time for Ziad. He remains intubated in the Intensive Care Unit, although his condition is now stable. The doctors need to discuss what should be done for him next.
Please pray for Ziad, who is tired and on a long journey with his health. Please pray also for his beautiful mother, that she will continue to have hope and peace, knowing that her son is in God’s hands.
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!
Please pray for precious Ziad who was intended to have a cath today but his heart stopped. He received resuscitation and was thereafter intubated for a second time.
I just think of his mom, and can only ask you to pray for his life. Thank you Lord for preserving him. We ask you to do in his body what you are doing in all believers – making us whole, healing us, making us new. You are the God of the living, and we pray that you give life to Ziad.
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.
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.
The battle for Ziad continues
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.
Ziad's surgery a success today
The last thing we heard of Ziad’s condition was on Thursday, that he had a fever and therefore his surgery would not likely be today, Sunday. However, I found his mum diligently waiting in the area outside the operating room. She recognized me before I recognized her. She had a mask up to her eyes and was wearing clothes I had never seen her in before. She walked towards me and greeted me.
She said Ziad, was in fact, in surgery. He was taken in at 8:30 a.m. and came out at around 4:30 p.m.
Since Sheba Medical Center has restrictions, that there can only be myself and co-worker Georgia attending families at the hospital due to the ongoing precautions against the Corona virus and because today was a hectic day with a lot to do in it, I couldn’t spend the time I wanted to by Ziad’s mother’s side for the surgery.
Ziad requires substantial medical intervention in addition to his cardiac care, and requires some care toward his neurological problems as well, which his mum is very concerned about. When the surgeon came to say the surgery was finished and that he was really happy with the results, she asked if it would help him walk, but the surgeon answered no, this is sometimes a different problem apart from the heart.
One of the first things Ziad’s mother told me when we met nearly three weeks ago, was that she loves her son very much. I can’t fathom how deeply she must desire his whole person to be well. We can pray for this, that God will provide and make a way for Ziad to receive treatment in every area of need. We also thank God and rejoice in the victory of a very successful surgery. His mother asked that no post-operative picture of Ziad be taken, so we thought that a beautiful picture of him will be perfect to look at and to help us remember to pray for this wonderful boy.
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.
All is well as cath approaches
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.