There were eight hours of tense nerves for Meera’s father today as his daughter underwent her second operation, for which the first one had been a preparation. As we sat together, I could see him look at his phone screen which is a picture of Meera in her hospital pajamas. It reminded me of last week when I visited Meera, she had a doll on her bed with blonde hair like the doll’s, and I tried to explain that we use the term “goldilocks” to her father for blonde hair like Meera’s. Sure enough, he put on an Arabic cartoon of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Meera has a big and beautiful personality, so for the surgery days and subsequent days of intubation, her absence is glaring. After she came out of the operation, Meer’s nurse said she didn’t like seeing Meera in this state because this isn’t her. The Meera we know is the toddler with pigtails, curious eyes wide open. But thank God this second surgery has been successful. Her father embraced the surgeon when he came out to say that everything had gone well. Please keep Meera in your prayers, especially for the process of extubating her.
When I opened the curtain to say hello to Meera, I was very happy to see her in that first moment. It was the first time for me to see her after her surgery and she just looked so much better and healthier. This morning I spoke with my co-workers Alena and Georgia about God revealing his glory so that we can see it (e.g. in John 1,14 or 1John 1,1-3). And now seeing Meera today, I felt this was an excellent example of how the Lord reveals his glory, because I can really see the change with my own eyes, praise his name. Shortly after I arrived, Meera’s father left the room; I wasn’t sure where he had gone. A few minutes later, he came back with a cup of tea for me which was very nice. Please pray that the Lord will continue to glorify himself in the life of Meera!
Our lovely girl Meera has recovered well from her first surgery so far. Today, she was moved out of the ICU at Sheba hospital, back to the intermediate department, as she is recovering so well. Her lovely dad and a nurse were walking by with Meera sitting on her tiny little bed and being wide awake as I was sitting in the waiting area. Meera has spent a lot of time sitting on her bed, and when I went to visit her she was very happy and not as afraid anymore as she was in the beginning, when she saw people with face masks coming to her. She had a little doll by her side, and when I was playing with her, she was reaching out with her cute hands for the doll. Thanks be to God for her good recovery so far, and for your prayers which are still very much appreciated.
Meera’s father joined the two Kurdish mothers for the beginning of the surgery and catheterisation for their daughters. It is touching to see how these families are supporting each other during these hospital days. Meera is having a better day today and seems to have turned a corner. As the nurse said, “We have to ask Meera why she’s feeling better today.” It is very good to see her now extubated since this morning, and with her heart rhythm responding to medication and under control. We need to continue to watch and wait for Meera’s recovery. It was a big surgery, to place a BT shunt and PA plasty, and so her body is adjusting in her own time. The medical team predict another surgery in the future, but at the moment we are to focus on her recovery from this first stage, before considering when this might be.
We heard during the night that Meera’s oxygen levels had dropped so low that she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Thank God that he is looking over her; this morning at 8:30 she was brought into her surgery as scheduled, the first of two surgeries needed to help save Meera’s heart.
Her father carried the emotional load well, although he was very worried about her. We were joined by some other families who offered words of encouragement, many of them remembering the surgeries of their own babies.
The surgery was planned to last five hours. After more than seven hours, Meera finally emerged. She looked so different, no longer dark blue in her extremities, but fairly pink, perhaps a little pale even. The nurse in the ICU told us after about 30 minutes that Meera was stable, and now she needs to just remain stable and recover from the surgery.
Secondly came an echo, and this also was very sad for her, however in the caring arms of her father, she eventually fell asleep. This was good because Meera’s heart defects are incredibly complex, and the echo took a very long time. Nearly all the staff from the department seemed to pop into the room at one point or another to look at the images from Meera’s heart, as the complexities of the defects were very interesting.
Her oxygen saturation today was between 57-72%, and her cardiologist explained that this is really not a safe condition to be sending her away from hospital today. She also would like to do further assessments from a CT scan to understand more about Meera’s heart and help plan intervention for her. Therefore, Meera was admitted to the hospital today. She continued to catch the attention of a few doctors as they passed by her, shocked to see this cyanotic little girl.