Almost exactly three months ago, Meera had her first appointment at Sheba hospital. Clearly she was not well enough to be at our community home, so she was hospitalized the same day she arrived and has been there through multiple caths and surgeries.
The astonishment of the doctors at her diagnosis was something that stood out from that first day. Over these three months, however, they’ve not only treated the structural problems of her heart, but have become like family to her and her father.
Meera would often be sitting with one of the nurses behind the desk, many doctors would stop and say hello to her and to her father as they walked the halls, and the nurses of their unit went shopping for her and bought many new clothes for Meera. They were clothes that fit her size so well and were colors that matched her complexion and hair. It was obvious they were chosen with great love and thought.
Meera has been discharged from the hospital today, after three months, having been honored and loved to the full by her father and by the staff at Sheba. I believe that because of the love she received from them, she is a different girl than she would have been otherwise.
Being able to see these circumstances is a privilege as is coming to know little Meera, and to welcome her to Jaffa at long last, and to be a spectator of the incredible compassion and love of the Sheba staff.
Yesterday was the first time for our beautiful Meera to be outside of her bed since her time in the hospital. Her father who is always taking loving care of his beloved daughter, was able to put Meera in a stroller and drive her around.
He went to us in the echo area where we were sitting with some other families telling everyone the good news with a happy face and all of us joined him in his happiness about this event. It is very nice that Meera has the chance to see her greater environment now and to be able to experience so many new things.
Her father took Meera outside of the hospital for a short time which was great especially for Meera to have some fresh air. Meera is a beautiful girl and everyone who sees her begins immediately to love and interact with her. One of the nurses got her some presents because she wants her to improve in her hand movement a bit. It was really nice of the nurse to do this; she loves little Meera as well.
We continue to pray for Meera and her lovely father for the time they still have in the hospital.
Meera has been put on new medication to treat the persistent fluid in her lungs. She was in a lot of pain from this new treatment, so she received medicine to help her rest. With this she was able to sleep for a few hours. When she woke up, it was around dinner time and I was impressed to see that she knew how to use a fork to feed herself.
After this, we played with blocks and watched a short video of goldilocks and the three bears. Her dad was able to get out for a bit during this time.
The doctor who spoke with co-worker Georgia and I, agreed with us that Meera’s father is a remarkable man because of his devotion to his daughter. Please keep Meera in prayer this week, if this new medication doesn’t help control the fluid, she will need to go to another surgery.
Beautiful Meera and her friendly father had to move from the secondary ICU of Sheba hospital to the underground parking garage ICU of the hospital because of the given circumstances.
When I visited them today, there were clowns coming to the hospital visiting her as they do many children from time to time. It was very lovely to see these clowns in action. Little Meera quite enjoyed their visit.
My thought in that moment while watching the clowns visiting with Meera, was that Meera is a changed girl compared to when I first met her in the beginning of her time in Israel. It was quite normal then for her to be very shy when she met people for the first time; she would almost cry immediately because she did not know them. But if you compare this to how she is now, meeting new people is now normal for her and she loves to meet them. She is a very beautiful and strong person, as is her father, who has been with her in the hospital for a long time now.
Please pray for ongoing patience for him and for this precious little girl to recover well.
Friends, please continue to pray for Meera. She is with chest drains on both sides to help get rid of the liquid in her lungs. There was a pause in the middle of the day which allowed me to spend some time with her and her dad in their hospital room. It was a glimpse into Meera’s little life. She was fasting again today for the anesthesia, a necessary part of inserting the second chest tube.
There were many toys strewn on her bed, oddly one of the telltale signs of a long hospitalization. Meera has an amassing of gifts from different visiting charities that come to the hospital, all now in her possession. One of these gifts was a playset that produced small bubbles of different colors. We noticed her beautiful, inquisitive eyes as she studied how to engage with the playset. At one year and seven months Meera has endured so much.
We pray for resolution to her health troubles so she can engage and learn of the world around her – outside of the hospital.
Meera has been in the intermediate department at Sheba hospital for some time, with a few lingering problems for her. She has come so far in her journey of healing, but still not yet in a good enough condition to be thinking about leaving the hospital.
Today the doctors took her for a cardiac catheterization to dilate some of her blood vessels. It was successful, and Meera was brought out of the procedure after a few hours having experienced the catheterization safely.
The plan now will be to monitor her status, and watch for improvement. It could be that if her condition does not improve, that she might need another surgery.
Her father told me today is the 50th day they have been in the hospital, and for the first time he shared that he is feeling tired from these days. He is a good father for Meera and this comment is in no way a complaint, as he is fully committed to waiting beside her for her healing. Please pray for encouragement for this dad and for little Meera’s improvement.
Today, one of the Kurdish mothers who traveled to Israel in the same group as little Meera and her mum, saw Meera for the first time since she was admitted to hospital almost directly after arriving two months ago. The difference in Meera’s physical appearance, that she was pink, shocked the mother who last saw her with dark blue skin, indicating her little body lacked oxygen.
As Meera has improved so much, there is still yet a way to go. She will stay in hospital while doctors decide how best to address the condition of her heart valves not working well. Please continue to pray for precious Meera, specifically for the heart valve function to be corrected.
We had a very quiet visit today with Meera and her father. They have moved to the other side of the ICU, where the children need a little less support, so this is a good sign. Meera was sleep-ing, and her father had put a blanket at the side of the cot, as he says whenever she wakes and sees him, she gets upset. So he, Alena and I sat together for a few minutes and whispered together, catching up on the news of the children in and out of the hospital. It was a nice time, and good to see him relaxing as he can tell Meera appears to be well on the road to recovery now.
Here is a startling picture of Meera’s cyonotic fingers in a blog Georgia wrote for her while she was in the hospital waiting for her first surgery. In contrast to the almost purple discoloration in her finger tip then, today what struck me was the pink that tinged her hands.
The difference between these photos are two open-heart surgeries, and thank God that Meera is now extubated after last week’s operation.
Our prayer for Meera is that after spending the first year and a half of her life with this debilitating heart defect, she will know the joy of health and life to the fullest, and that she continues to grow in body, mind and spirit. She truly is a gift.
The beautiful Meera is recovering very well from her surgery. She was sleeping peacefully when I went to visit her and her dad in the Sheba hospital pediatric ICU today. Her father is always very friendly and thankful for everything that the doctors and nurses in the hospital are doing for his lovely Meera. He is taking loving care of his daughter and he is always happy when he sees us. When I asked the nurses how little Meera is doing, they told me she is recovering well and the doctors are thinking about extubating her in the next days, but maybe they want to give her some more rest before that. Praise the Lord for her good recovery so far, and may she continue to recover so well. Thank you for your prayers.
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.
Meera is still up in the ICU at Sheba hospital. She is still receiving a lot of medications, is asleep and intubated. She is experiencing some irregularities in her heartbeat, which is being monitored at the moment. Still, it is just around half a week since her big surgery, and she needs the time to recover. Please pray for her father to remain hopeful and to be able to focus on the coming future when Meera is improving in her condition. It is a big load to bear, so please pray for God to continue to strengthen him, as well as for Meera’s recovery.
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.
We will wait, pray, and see how she goes, remembering that she is in good hands. Thank God for this special day for Meera, hopefully the start of a healthier life for her.
Today I saw Meera, and as we are reporting each time, it is startling to see her with dark lips, hands and feet. Today her dark veins were visible through her eyelids, and on the end of her nose.
I tried to tell her father the stories of other children whom I have seen before surgery so cyanotic, and after surgery so transformed in their energy levels, and looking a completely different colour. I hope he was reassured or encouraged somewhat by what I said, but of course he is still thinking deeply about his precious daughter.
The doctor came to take a blood test, and Meera’s father asked him if Meera’s will be a difficult surgery? The doctor said the surgeon will speak to him thoroughly before the surgery, but yes that many things in her heart are not right, and her problem is very complex. He commented to me that he hasn’t seen a child as blue as this who is not unconscious.
Please pray for this beautiful girl in such a desperate situation.
Meera is settled into her room now in the pediatric intermediate care unit of the cardiac department at Sheba hospital. As her father speaks Arabic, it is in some ways easier to get a grip on things, but of course it’s still a new environment he’s coping with, in a gentle yet determined way.
For isolation purposes, all visitors have to wear a blue gown and gloves, and of course a face mask when visiting Meera, so this alerts her into a bit of a panic at the beginning, although it was sweet to see her fear quickly dissolve when she recognised Alena and I.
She has had further assessment with a CT scan, and the doctors continue to discuss her case, with a view to plan her surgery. Her father is patient and although asking if we know when the surgery might be, he also expressed that he will be with his daughter for as long as it takes for her to be well. He said that his wife is crying at home with his own mother, as she misses them both.
Thank God for His perfect timing and we are hoping for a good outcome for Meera.
Meera and her father had their first trip to Sheba Medical Centre today for her initial appointment. It was a hard day for her which started with a blood test. You can perhaps see in the photograph the dark purple colour of her little foot.
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.
Her dad handled the day calmly, although I’m sure it would come as a big relief that finally after one and a half years, Meera is in the hands of highly a experienced medical staff in a well-equipped hospital. He told me that Meera is his only child, of course she is extremely precious to him.
Please pray for Meera as she settles into her time staying at the hospital and thank you in advance for your prayers of intercession on behalf of this dear little girl.
I received a photo of the beautiful Yazidi girl, Meera, last night from Jonathan, who had met her and her father with the other Kurdish families in Jordan. They have traveled from Kurdistan, and today reached Israel via the Beit She’an crossing connecting to Jordan.
The staff there were extremely helpful, and as we waited, they notified us that six Kurdish families had arrived. The staff member asked if we wanted to come into the Arrivals department to help bring them out, as he added, “because one of the babies is really quite purple.”
Co-worker Sabrina and I followed him through the “No Entry, Staff Only” door where he pointed out the group of families trying to get their visas to enter Israel. And he was right.
At first glance, Meera is startlingly purple; her fingers are clubbed and her feet look almost black due to her low oxygen saturation. I asked the father, who told me that she has always been like this. As we tried to check her oxygen saturation, she screamed and cried causing her face to turn a deeper, darker shade of purple. It still feels so unsettling to me to see children such as little Meera in this condition.
She is one and a half years old, and has a diagnosis of AV canal with Dextro-Transposition of the Great Arteries. Hopefully this journey to Israel will result in a successful operation for Meera, and we can look forward with hope and prayer for the time when she will be returning to her mother in Kurdistan, healthy and well.