Saif was bright-eyed and content, but hungrily sucking on his fingers today when I arrived to his room at Sheba Medical Center. His mom was attentive at his bedside, as usual.
It is obvious that Saif has been growing and thriving these past few weeks— his feeding issues seem to be a thing of the past. This was evident as well in his weight today – a whopping 3.29 kg!
As he has been stable and gaining weight recently, his mom was given some good news. The doctors are considering removing the tracheostomy tube next week!
This would be a huge answer to prayer, as it would simplify his care and make it much safer for Saif to return to Gaza with his family.
Please pray with us that Saif will tolerate this decannulation procedure, that his airway will remain open, and his ever-optimistic mother will see the healing hand of God in this situation.
Looking into a beautiful face
What a joy it was to see this beautiful little face looking up at me!
Saif’s mom, so full of kindness and always welcoming, was bottle-feeding Saif when we found them at Sheba Hospital today.
It was good to see that Saif was drinking without great difficulty. Praise God for this improvement. He still has a long journey of recovery and care, please continue praying for him as he grows.
Saif was stable in the secondary ICU today, crying occasionally but quickly calmed with his pacifier and some baby-talk. He is quite alert and responsive!
Although his respiratory status is stable and he is off of oxygen, mom related that he is vomiting formula when given by bottle. He is also finishing up a course of antibiotics.
Saif’s mom was cheerful and seemed more rested today. She was happy with the nurses caring for Saif, and introduced me to one of them — as it turns out, I met this nurse in the 6th floor PICU last week— and I agreed that she is excellent! Compassionate, kind, and careful with the small patients in her care, as well as with the parents. A real blessing!
Please join us in praying for further plans for Saif: that he can get the nutrition he needs to grow; that plans can be made for his needs with a tracheostomy tube; and, that his mother will continue to be encouraged and refreshed despite his long hospitalization.
Co-worker Colin and I found baby Saif in the secondary ICU of Sheba Medical Center today, having been transferred there. We were able to meet Saif for the first time in person!
Seeing him and his mom together was so special. He is such a cute baby. Presently he is working on bottle feeding. Hopefully, after three feedings in which he is drinking milk without any complications, he can transition to being bottle fed completely and his feeding tube can be taken out; this is the hope.
His mom voiced her concerns about what it looks like going to Gaza with him being on a trach, so please be in prayer for God’s wisdom for his future.
Saif’s mom was so happy to receive a visit today; her time in the PICU at Sheba hospital has been long and tiring.
Despite her obvious fatigue, she updated me on her baby son, then went with me to see several other parents of babies also in the ICU! Since she speaks a little English and is also comfortable with the Arabic/English translation app. It’s always a joy— and sometimes a bit funny— to an outsider who sees us communicating with a few words of different languages, translation apps, and a version of charades! One of the nurses laughingly commented today, “yes, we all communicate by pantomime here!”. I have unofficially nicknamed Saif’s mom “the Gaza ambassador in the PICU” for her knowledge of the infants and parents, her ability to welcome them and orient the new families, and her willingness to help with information and emotional support for others.
Saif is doing well with his tracheostomy, breathing on his own, and with just two liters of oxygen by a trach collar. He is alert much of the time, quickly comforted by his attentive mother. He continues to get feedings by tube, and his weight crept up to 2.5 kg (5.5lbs).
Although this weight gain seems minuscule, it is a victory for this small boy. Please pray with us for Saif to gain weight well, wean off of oxygen, and be able to put all of his energy now into getting bigger and stronger.
Saif struggling without mechanical ventilation
Saif’s mother shared that after the surgery for Saif’s diaphragm, Saif turned very blue and was unwell. Thankfully she reports that today Saif is doing better.
Please continue to pray for Saif and specifically for his lungs. Almost all of his life he has been supported by mechanical ventilation, and it is difficult for him to now be free of this support.
We praise God for sustaining Saif’s life. We praise God because he supplies our every breath and because he is the reason for life.
Saif had an arterial switch operation today. The brain MRI performed showed some injury, but the neurologist was able to clear him for surgery.
The mother says that the surgery went well. Saif is currently in the intensive care unit. Please pray for the next critical 48 hours.
Saif reaches Israel in safety
One-month-old Saif was rushed to the Sheba Medical Center in Israel late last night in an ICU ambulance, where surgeons will attempt surgery to switch his transposed great arteries back to their natural position. If successful this surgery can give Saif hope for a normal and healthy life.