The words which I heard most today from Zain’s mum were “الحمدلله” ~ Praise God. It’s right, in every circumstance we should be giving praise to God, even when we almost can’t believe what we see.
Co-worker Amar alerted us early this morning that the word from the hospital was that Zain’s situation was critical, he required resuscitation, and had been placed onto ECMO, the life support machine, which takes over the work of heart and lungs. He asked if we could come to the hospital to be with the mother as she was very upset.
When we arrived to hospital, Zain had been taken to a CT scan, and as he returned to the ICU, his mother was crying with worry about her boy.
She was very often in the company of caring mothers, who also have children in hospital. In particular today, the mother of Raied, also from Gaza, opened her arms and her heart and with great empathy, remained the side of Zain’s mum, dealing with the many phone calls which came from relatives, calls that Zain’s mum was too exhausted to answer.
The outcome of the CT scan was explained to the mother, and it was this that broke her heart even further. The doctors found that there is profound brain damage, affecting all parts of his body. They are not expecting Zain to recover from this. It’s hard to believe I am writing these words about this beautiful boy, who just yesterday morning was so full of life and joy.
Zain’s mother asked if it’s possible for her husband to come. I said we can try to see if the Erez border would give him permission, knowing from past experience, that such a request has not easily been granted before. However, after a phone call with Amar, I asked a nurse if it could be possible for someone from the hospital to write a short request for Zain’s father to come. Almost immediately the report, in wording so strong it gave me a shock, was placed into my hands to send on to Amar. Thank God for this quick cooperation from the busy medical team.
Exactly one hour later, I received the news from Amar that the father has been granted permission, he is coming to the hospital. Praise God for opening up that kind heart who generously gave a permit for the father to join his wife for this difficult time. It is a real miracle, and we see the kindness of God in this hard situation.
The father arrived later in the evening at the hospital. His greetings were polite, consistent with the strong social protocols of Palestinian Gaza Strip culture, but he also knew the urgency of the situation and was surely almost running through the doors of the hospital with only one thought in his mind, to see his wife and his son.
It was a beautiful moment as he arrived to the waiting room to comfort his exhausted and distraught wife (both I and Raied’s mum cried a little at this moment), before making his way to set his eyes on his three year old son.
True to the words ‘sacrifice of praise,’ even through this life and death situation, we praise God, who is always working.