33-year-old Mohammed L left Israel Friday expressing much gratitude for the five months he was with us:
You may remember how he bumped into us as we escorted children through the security line at the Amman airport, and how he pleaded with us to help him too, after doctors in Jordan sent him home without hope for treatment of his neglected congenital heart defect.
Due to his age it was a long struggle to get a visa for him to enter Israel; and once here it was a struggle for doctors to figure out how to help his heart. Through a catheterization they were able to open up blocked blood flow to one of his lungs, but they hadn’t yet reached a final decision about whether they should take Mohammed to a very high-risk surgery.
I kept encouraging Mohammed to wait and give the doctors more time. But finally this past week he told me he’d been warned by God in a dream not to go to surgery at this time. A statement like that should give any student of the scriptures pause; and I realized that Mohammed, like every living human I know, wasn’t quite ready yet to meet his maker.
Let’s pray for him during the time he has remaining on this earth.
Off to Sheba again today for Mohammed’s biweekly visit, which ended quickly and cheerfully. Mohammed is in good spirits as his oxygen levels continue increasing, and the water accumulation in his body continues to decrease. He’s hoping to return home soon, and accepted meekly the request to wait another two weeks for his next checkup.
We pray for wisdom for Mohammed and his doctors, to discern whether high-risk surgical intervention is still justified, or if the present improvements indicate he should go home without surgery.
Mohammed was discharged from Sheba Medical Center to our home in Jaffa, after they started him on a new medicine for the fluid build-up in his stomach.
He and his mom were very excited to be back in the comfort of community and familiar food in Jaffa.
Please continue praying for Mohammed’s recovery, that he and his mother would continue to wait patiently for him to become well enough for the next steps of treatment.
Oxygen saturations improving
Mohammed was back with his cardiologist today to check whether there is improvement following his interventional catheterization one month ago. The change to his anatomy then caused a setback in his oxygen levels which doctors hope will prove temporary.
And indeed today they found that his oxygen saturations are improving into the 80s and even the 90s. Still they told Mohammed that it will be one or two months before they’ll be able to decide whether he is a candidate for surgery.
This waiting is difficult for Mohammed and his mother; we pray for patience and grace, and that our Father will complete the good work he has begun.
Today we went to Sheba hospital with Mohammed and his mother for a blood test and x-ray. Afterwards, we talked to the doctor. He asked Mohammed to come back in two weeks to have an echo and check-up. The doctor wants Mohammed to recover a bit more especially because of his lungs. Mohammed is on oxygen support and tired. After this outcome, he was even more disappointed, because he has waited so long already for the long-awaited surgery or cath.
Please pray that Mohammed recovers in these next two weeks so that the doctors are free to decide to go on with the next best step.
Moved to Intermediate Ward
Today Mohammed was moved out of the Adult ICU at Sheba Medical Center and into an intermediate ward where his mother can now stay with him through the day and night This is an answer to her prayers, because she said this morning she couldn’t sleep last night because her heart was at the hospital with her son. Now may they have some peace together.
Please be praying for the next steps for him, if he will go to surgery in order to complete the valve implantation, but for now he is recovering and eager to be released to Jaffa. He is well on his way as he devoured a Shawarma pita, his first meal in about two days!
Cath delayed due to continued cough
Today would be the day to admit Mohammed to Sheba hospital for tomorrow’s cath. But when we were in the hospital to have some tests done, including an echo, blood test and ECG, the doctors decided to wait on the cath. The visit to the ER last Friday shows that he is still ill and had just stopped his course of antibiotics.
Mohammed was looking forward to this cath after waiting for a long time, he was disappointed. Please pray that his coughing stops soon, and the cath will be not delayed for too long.
After four days of coughing and no sleep for Mohammed, we decided to go to the Sheba hospital’s ER today. His difficulty in breathing was audible and he felt very weak. He mentioned also many times that he doesn’t want to stay and just wants some medicine. It was also the reason why he put off the consideration of going to the ER until just now.
Doctors decided to give him antibiotics for the next three days to treat his bronchitis and they allowed him to return to our community home. In general, the doctors and nurses were very friendly and helped us. It didn’t take us that long in the ER area which is very unusual. The blood test, X-Ray and ICG went also very fast.
Mohammed is very happy with this outcome and likes to be back in Jaffa, rather than in the hospital.
Please pray that this little set back will not change the plans for his eventual catheterization which was scheduled to take place in the next few days.
He called to say catheterization is finished!
Today Mohammed had another diagnostic catheterization done because his case is sensitive and the doctors are not yet decided on the best possible treatment for him.
It was another nice waiting time for me spent with Mohammed and his lovely mother. She maintains a lovely attitude in the whole situation and isn’t afraid at all. She keeps saying she knows Mohammed’s problem is quite difficult, but that there is no problem greater then God.
Mohammed came out of his catheterization after one hour so it was really quick and his mother and I kept looking for him in the recovery area where they usually bring the patients after their procedures. We couldn’t find him there, but shortly after, Mohammed’s mother received a phone call from him saying that he is back in his room.
That was a funny moment because we didn’t expect that. We ended up going to the room and found him wide awake and in a happy mood, already saying that he is hungry and wants to eat something. It was nice to spend some time with him and his mother afterwards and to get to know them more. They both keep having a patient, wonderful attitude towards the whole situation.
Please join me in prayer that it might continue like that until the doctors have made a decision about his treatment.
Mohammed had his MRI today at Sheba Medical Center. The medical staff didn’t have any Kurdish interpretation for the MRI procedure so they asked me to go inside with him.
He was a little bit anxious because the metal shield was so heavy on his chest. He was moving sometimes, but at the end was a very good patient. After we finished, he rested a little bit and we went back to the cardiac adult unit.
We still don’t know if they will decide to do the operation or not. After the MRI results, we hope to know that.
Please, let’s keep praying for him and his strong mother, who takes care of him all the time.
Happy to be receiving help here
I visited Mohammed Latif at Sheba Medical Center with Co-worker Julio. It was very nice to see him and his mother and to just chat with each other. They both are still in happy moods.
Mohammed told us he is very tired because of his heart, and he cannot walk for a long time anymore. He is sad about that, although he seems very grateful and happy about the help he is receiving here in Israel, at Sheba hospital, through the ministry of Shevet Achim.
He also told us about his resuscitation, at least three times in his history, before he came to Israel. It was very interesting and remarkable to listen to him.
Mohammed Latif may get tested tomorrow so his doctors can decide if and what operation is necessary. Please pray for this.
Diagnostic catheterization today
Today was diagnostic catheterization day at Sheba hospital for Mohammed. The procedure took around one and a half hours. Medical staff must now exam results of the cath and decide how best to treat Mohammed.
It was my first time to meet both Mohammed and his mother. They were very welcoming to me. We chatted a bit about Germany, where I come from, and then Mohammed went into the cath lab.
His mother and I spent the waiting time together, talking and laughing, drinking tea and strolling outside.
Mohammed woke promptly from the cath medication. He was joking and saying that he was hungry because he had to fast before the catheterization. Please continue to keep this young man in your prayers.
Waiting for a catheterization
Mohammed is still awaiting his catheterization. It was tentatively today, but was moved further to Thursday. Tomorrow he will finish being in quarantine, which will make it a little bit easier to schedule him.
The day at Sheba hospital with Mohammed and his mother was really nice. We spoke to some of their relatives who live abroad.
We also talked more about Mohammed’s and his mother’s life in Kurdistan. Mohammed is a very talented singer! I also thought much of the story of how Mohammed and his mother met Jonathan, which then led to their ability to come to Israel for treatment which wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. They said they met on an airplane. I thought of a phrase I’ve heard in Kurdish which means “How beautiful is the work of God,” that these three people happened to be connected by the same flight.
Please continue to pray for Mohammed. We hope the cath will be able to provide more information as to his operability.
Mohammed arrives in Israel
Mohammed is a different patient compared to the ones we usually see here; he is 33 years old. He has had two previous surgeries to help his heart defect, but as he grows older, his condition has worsened, and he is in heart failure. The doctors at Sheba hospital in Israel have agreed to receive him for a risky surgery, which could be the last chance to save his life.
Mohammed has been in and out of hospital in Kurdistan, sometimes needing draining procedures for the fluid in his stomach. He has had to give up his work, and this is the hope for his family that he will be able to have healing in Israel.
For months, there has been difficult and strong communications with the Israeli interior ministry, as we worked consistently to get a visa for Mohammed, who is no longer a child. Thankfully, they made the exception and granted this man and his mother their visas and their permissions to enter Israel.
On the day they were due to travel two weeks ago, Mohammed tested positive for corona virus and their trip was therefore delayed again. All the timings are in the hands of God, and so according to His plan, today was the day for Mohammed and his mother to arrive to Israel.
They went immediately to the hospital upon arrival, and experienced the care of the Israelis, thoroughly carrying out their full assessments to ensure Mohammed has the best quality care they can give, as they faithfully do with every patient.
We will know more about the plan for surgery for Mohammed as the week continues. Please pray for peace as he and his mother settle into this unfamiliar country and negotiate this highly stressful situation. Please also pray over Mohammed’s surgery and health, asking for God’s best for his life.