Today we visited Qusai and his mother in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU at Hadassah hospital in Ein Karem. Co-worker Claudia took Erika and I along for our first visit. Qusai’s Mom was visibly happy to see Claudia. She was at her son’s bedside; he is still on a ventilator with many monitors, but was somewhat active and wiggly. Mom joyfully showed us a short video of her beautiful boy with his eyes open! The head nurse gave us a bit more information about Qusai’s diagnosis and recent surgery. He has a long list of cardiac issues: Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia; small pulmonary arteries; a double right-sided aorta with vascular ring; and tracheal compression.
This last part is the most concerning, since the abnormal aorta and the blood vessels arising from the aorta made a circle around the trachea (windpipe) and made it soft and narrow as it developed. As Qusai gets weaned from the ventilator, his windpipe will need to stay open. Qusai had bronchioscope (camera scope) yesterday to evaluate this area, and results were as expected: There was some narrowing, but mainly open. That will allow the medical staff to continue to slowly bring down the ventilator settings slowly as he tolerates. Qusai has a long road ahead of him with multiple surgeries in his future, but he has started well and strong. His mother is devoted and loving, and there are two siblings— a seven year old and a six year old— waiting for their baby brother to come back home to Gaza.
During the conversation, Claudia saw something interesting with the main nurse’s shoes (you can see it in the above picture). It looks like she is really in the shoes of those who serve others with heart problems; she really loves what she is doing and we could feel it. As a summary, we conclude that if we are involved with people, we need to understand that our work is also our calling and this nurse definitely has it. May we all flourish in our callings and remember that where our own shoes are concerned, how mightily blessed are the feet of those who bring good news!
Qusai's surgery is successful
I went to the ICU of Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem today to ask after Qusai. He was in surgery. An informed nurse said the surgery was complicated and taking some time.
I met and talked with Qusai’s mother who had a circle of other moms around her when I found her in a waiting room. She and I went for a walk while waiting; there is a hospital park area just outside. I used Google translate to chat with her. We had some coffee together.
Eventually, Qusai was brought back to the ICU. He is under sedation but, according to the surgeon, he is stable. The doctor said thaty this surgery prepared Qusai for the next surgery. If all goes well, Qusai will go home to Gaza and return to Hadassah Hospital after three months for an Echocardiogram.
Thank you all for keeping this little one and his family in your prayers.
Qusai's first catheterization
When we arrived to the hospital room, Qusai’s mother was alone because they had already brought Qusai elsewhere to be tested. It was a long wait for this anxious mother. Via Google translation I tried to tell her that a long wait is a good sign. It means that the doctors don’t want to miss anything important that might equip them in helping her son in the best possible way.
A doctor told me that there are big problems with his heart, and that the road will be long. He said something that I have learned to live by, “We will take one day at a time.” He told me that Qusai’s life is stable, and I think that is the most important thing right now.
Please lift up this precious little boy and the rest of his family in your prayers, and especially his mother.
Entering the hospital room, I didn’t know what to expect, and there he was. Sedated, without knowing all the efforts going on around him from caring medical staff, Qusai rested.
A nurse gave him medicine through a vein in his little hand. All the machines he is wired to might seem scary, but what a blessing they are. He is intubated because he needs help breathing, and every change in his condition is closely monitored. The hospital crew is doing a marvelous job, I’m so happy he’s here. Even if it is a horrible state Qusay is in, there is hope. The peace that filled the room gave witness to that hope.
Please lift up this wonderful little baby in your prayers, and his mother who is with him, but also the rest of the family.
To the joy of his 28-year-old mother Qusai looked beautiful and healthy when born earlier this month. But he soon looked blue and had difficulty breathing.
At the hospital in Gaza doctors suspected a heart problem, and on echocardiogram discovered multiple complex defects.
He’s now in the ICU in critical condition and on mechanical ventilation, awaiting transfer to Israel–his only hope to live. Doctors at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem are working to make a place for him despite crowding caused by Covid-19, and have asked us to bring him on Sunday, August 2. Please ask God with us for grace for Qusai until then, and for all the days of his life that will follow.