Praise God she is recovering well from her surgery and has been cleared to return to Gaza. Her grandmother has been diligently caring for Raghed, and is excited to return to Gaza to spend time with her family at home.
Today she had an Echo-cardiogram which showed some fluid in her lungs, for this they started her on some medication.
We had fun playing with her favourite pink balloon and passing a small soccer ball between us. There is an Arabic complimentary phrase that one would say that translates to, “your presence is the light of the house” (or city, or insert location here). And I certainly thought that for Raghad. Her smile lit up the room. It was so good to see her radiant like this.
Raghed had an interventional catheterization this morning at Sheba Hospital. She went in early, I went to her hospital room. There was a gaping space where Raghed’s crib had been and her grandma was sitting in a small chair in the corner of the room.
She was told that after the catheterization, they would bring Raghed back to this room, so she wanted to wait there. She soon ate some breakfast and rested a bit more.
The procedure took around three hours. Hopefully, she will be weaned off the remaining oxygen which she is still using. Thank you for praying for this sweet girl.
I found Raghed and her grandmother today in the Surgical Unit, a step-down from the PICU of Sheba Medical Center. She has made a steady recovery after her major surgery last week.
Raghed still requires some oxygen by nasal cannula to keep her oxygen levels normal, so the doctors are planning a chest CT scan to further evaluate her heart and surrounding structures.
Raghed’s grandmother expressed her thankfulness to God for Raghed’s improvement; she said “this is a shared experience between two countries, and I thank God (Allah) for making this possible!”
Please pray with us for continued healing and wisdom for the healthcare team as they continue caring for Raghed and keep her grandmother in your prayers also.
Today, at Sheba Medical Center, little Raghed had a Rastelli surgery, a surgery developed by Italian physician and cardiac surgery researcher, Giancarlo Rastelli in 1967 – used to correct congenital heart defects. Her grandmother is her escort. She says Raghed misses her two other brothers and parents, but they WhatsApp video call every day. Previously, Raghed’s grandmother also accompanied Raghed to Makkased Hospital for her first surgery and stayed with her there for three months. Raghed’s grandmother was very calm throughout the surgery.
It was a serene time of fellowship with her grandmother today for coworker Alena and I, along with a few other mothers from Gaza. Please pray for the next critical 24 hours as Raghed recovers.
18-month old Raghed has been languishing at home in Gaza with dangerously-low oxygen levels, after falling between the cracks of the hospitals treating her. She had a first surgery at the age of one month in East Jerusalem, but authorities in Gaza have not been willing to give her coverage to return there for her urgently-needed second surgery.
Another hospital in Israel was willing to see here, but only two weeks from now, and only (for internal bureaucratic reasons) if she did not arrive in an ambulance. We had to rule this out as possibly putting Raghed at risk during the border crossing.
Thank God, today the Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest, agreed to accept Raghed, and by 7 pm she was safely in their hands: