Today we picked our little Malak up from Gaza and drove her to Sheba Medical Center for her Echo follow-up appointment. We haven’t seen her for a few weeks now so we were all very happy to meet her and her adorable mother again! During her Echo and the ECG she was very brave and didn’t cry at all, just the waiting times have been a bit difficult for her. She was a bit hungry and couldn’t get food over her sonde as she usually does, but luckily she fell asleep. After a few hours of waiting her doctor could finally talk to us and told us she has to come back in three months for another Echo follow-up. He also doesn’t think, that another surgery will be necessary for Malak, which her mother was so happy about!
Today was such a wonderful day for our little Malak and her mother. Both were in such a happy mood that you couldn’t do anything but share their joy. Malak even had her own discharge outfit!
We just had to wait for her cardiologist, who should tell us when her next Cath will take place. Once we had the information that her next appointment would be in the middle of November Malaks doctors in the pediatric immediately started preparing her medication and papers for the discharge. The ambulance was also very early at Sheba medical care to bring them to Gaza, so they could leave very fast. Saying goodbye was difficult but we felt so happy for them to see their family and friends again.
After four months in Sheba Hospital, Malak’s father and her brother back home are really excited to finally see her again. Malak’s mother has been excited to go home for days now and as I spent a lot of time with her today, I could feel her true joy throughout the day.
Later on I met her again with Malak in the hallway. She looked really happy in her stroller and we had a lot of fun with her. When she comes back to Sheba Medical Center in a few weeks, she can continue her treatment and will probably get a PEG tube surgery.
We thank God that Malak is now feeling so much better after staying in hospital for so long, and for the reunion of their family and for a safe health status until they return.
During all this time of thinking of treatment plans and considering what is the best for Malak, her doctors were so kind, took a lot of time for her and made sure that Malak’s mother understands everything they’re talking about. Although it was a rough, long and very emotional day, it was great to feel helpful staying at the side of Malak’s mother. She is such a thankful woman and the trust she has in the Lord is amazing. When I left, her the last thing she said was, “I will pray to the Lord for Malak.”
Please join our prayers for Malak, that she will learn to swallow more and more, for her mother, to stay patient and keep her trust in the Lord and for the doctors, that they will consider the right things and choose the best treatment plan for Malak! Thank God for bringing us all through this long day, for staying with us and giving everyone the strength we needed to persevere.
Coworker Lisa and I accompanied Malak and her mother to Sheba Hospital for the videofluoroscopy of Malak today. Early in the morning it was still not sure whether Malak would have it today as planned or if it will be postponed. When we entered Mala.k’s room, we found her mother crying, frustrated and upset. She told me how sad she was and weak she felt after four months of staying in hospital, and for the last month of this, not having any further treatment for Malak. We comforted her and I told her that she was already strong for staying such a long time in hospital alone.
She just said, “No, I’m very weak.“
Before taking a walk to distract Malak’s mom a little, I asked again the doctor why Malak’s fluoroscopy was postponed when they told me that they could still do it today. A few minutes later someone came to bring us to the right building and Malak’s mother was finally able to smile again. It was so great to see how relieved and happy she was. She thanked us and we hugged each other while she said with tears in her eyes, “I love you. You are my family.“
Malak’s mom invited us to visit her in Gaza and kept saying that she wants us to meet her family. “Inshallah,“ (Arabic for “God willing“) we will be able some day to visit hethere. While waiting for the elevator, both Malak and her mother were smiling brightly.
During the videofluoroscopy, Malak had a little trouble sucking at the bottle. But after putting the liquid food on a spoon and giving it to her mouth directly, she was able to swallow a little. The doctor later told me that she has to look at the video again together with a radiologist to check that the food doesn’t go down to the lungs. But hopefully Malak will be able to eat by herself soon.
Let’s pray for Malak that everything goes well for her and that she can eat soon by herself. Please also pray for her mother who really wants to go home, so that her whole family can be with Malak again. But right now, what Malak’s mother really needs is a little patience and also strength because the scopy results might not be how she expects them.
When coworker Petra and I made the visits today at Sheba Hospital, we asked a doctor how Malak was doing. A few days ago, the doctors discovered that one of her vocal cords was paralyzed – this explained Malak’s difficulties in eating.
We were relieved to hear, that Malak can currently eat baby food well as long as she is in an upright position.
Another fluoroscopy on October 16 will show whether Malak will soon be able to return to Gaza with her mother, or whether the doctors will have to give her a PEG tube. Then we will also learn if Malak can drink milk.
Please pray for good fluoroscopy results next Sunday and for God’s goodness on the little girl. Her mother wishes very much to be able to return home.
After two months in Sheba Hospital, it was the first time today that I could hold Malak in my arms again. She has grown so much in this time and I was so amazed how big she is now! Yesterday her mother and grandmother switched places and so I was very happy to see her mother again!
Our big girl is doing very well and the condition of her heart is good. Next Sunday a specialist will look at the videos they did during her video fluoroscopy. Malak’s mom hopes that after that, she soon can go home. Right now her NG tube is the only thing keeping Malak from getting discharged. Let’s pray for Malak and her mother, that they can go home soon!
Malak is waiting for some test there to be done next week, as she still has problems with eating and swallowing. Please pray for good test results next week and that the eating and swallowing problem will be resolved and this little girl can go home soon!
Today, Malak’s mother changed places with her mother-in-law to stay at the Pediatric ICU in Sheba Hospital with sweet Malak. Even though it is very hard for her mother to leave her daughter, Malak’s mother was joyful to return home to Gaza.
We asked Malak’s nurse after Malak’s condition and found out that Malak has to rest for another week and grow stronger. Next week, doctors will do a video fluoroscopy, a moving X-ray examination of swallowing. With those results, they can decide on further treatment.
We want to pray for Malak so she will grow stronger for her examination next week. Also pray for her mother who had to leave her little baby behind, albeit temporarily. Give strength and perseverance to Malak’s grandmother in this new unknown environment.
Coworker Jan and I went to Sheba Hospital to make a few visits. As we walked into Malak’s room, we could see the cute girl already looking at us with her sweet big eyes. She was very curious and wanted to see more to discover who entered her room. While we talked to her mother a bit, cute Malak was fascinated by coworker Jan. In the picture you can see how well they got along.
A doctor told us that even though Malak’s oxygen levels are stable and not concerning anymore, she has to stay in the hospital for a while. Malak has great trouble with eating because she often gets milk into her lungs which can be very dangerous. The doctor told me they are consulting with the gastro and neuro department on further treatment. If they find a way to feed Malak without the tube, she is one step closer to going home.
Let’s pray for Malak and her further recovery. Pray that they find a solution for her eating problems so she can leave Sheba soon.
Thank God so much for cute little Malak and that she is recovering so well. She gets better and better day by day, and we want to praise God for that. Thanks for your prayers for this little one.
Please pray that Malak will successfully come off oxygen and that her situation will continue to improve.
Our sweet Malak had a successful cath today at Sheba Hospital. The doctors had to widen her pulmonary arteries, and the catheterization took four hours. It was difficult for Malak’s mother to wait that long, but she was patient and strong. While we were waiting, Malak’s mother talked about how hard it is to have to choose between being with her daughter in the hospital, or her son in Gaza.
When Malak’s cath was finished, the doctor was encouraging, but honest. She said that this cath went well, but that Malak will need more caths and surgeries in the future, and that it will be a long and hard road for her.
Please pray that God will grant healing and strength to our beautiful Malak, and that He will comfort and strengthen her mother.
Malak had tried to drink milk and had choked on it, so now some of it is in her lungs. The doctor said that this can often happen after a complicated surgery like hers, and from having been on the ECMO, but that now Malak must only eat from a nasal tube.
Even with oxygen support, Malak’s oxygen saturation is not good. The doctors think it is because of her narrowed pulmonary artery. Malak will go into a catheterization on Thursday to widen the PA. Added to that, she also has some problems eating and will have an x-ray tomorrow.
Malak is such a cute girl and was peacefully sleeping when we visited her. Her mom said, “She doesn’t know what’s going on. She doesn’t know that this is dangerous.”
And yes, this little girl doesn’t know, but our Father in heaven knows and he cares for our Malak. Thank you God for never forgetting a child! Please heal Malak and comfort her mother!
Our adorable little Malak is doing well and breathing better. Now she’s just on oxygen from the tubes in her nose, though she still has had episodes of low oxygen saturation. She will have a catheterization at Sheba Hospital in two weeks from today.
Malak’s sweet mother is always ready to encourage any of the other mothers in the hospital. Today she was crying with and hugging another mother whose child was in surgery today.
Please pray for God’s blessing on sweet Malak and her mother.
Luckily, Malak’s mother speaks English well and we could talk with her for a while. She told us that Malak is fine, but her oxygen level is still too low. The doctors are skeptical if it will increase on its own. Therefore, the next few days will show whether a catheterization is necessary.
Please pray that Malak’s arteries will extend on their own over the next few days, so that catheterization is not necessary.
When I saw Malak yesterday at Sheba Hospital, she was having a fever and her oxygen levels weren’t stable. To our surprise today however, she was much better. Coworker Luisa and I went into Malak’s hospital room and saw how happy her mother was to show us how well Malak is doing today. She told us that Malak slept for over seven hours last night and that her oxygen levels are now stable. Even the fever is gone so she’s doing very good. Malak will need a catheterisation in a week so her mother was kind of worried that this will delay their return to their family in Gaza.
Over all, cute Malak was doing much better and looked so peaceful while she was sleeping.
Let us praise the Lord for Malak’s recovery from her fever and for the stable oxygen levels today, both answers to prayer. We want to pray for the catheterisation next week, for the doctors and for Malak’s mother who takes such good care of her.
Malak’s mom is also very happy, and we laughed together as little Malak stuck out her tongue at us. Regarding a discharge from the hospital, her mother said, “Inshallah (God willing) soon Malak.”
Today at Sheba Hospital, I saw Malak extubated for the first time. Seeing her awake and looking around, led me into a state of so much gratitude.“Thank you God for answering our prayer for little Malak.” Coworker Elise and I prayed for Malak, gave thanks and blessed her. It was a special moment we had in her room.
Malak is doing pretty well. Today the doctors removed some medication she was receiving through her central line. Because she doesn’t need the central line anymore, they planned to remove it today in the afternoon, as well as her urinary catheter. They also started to give her milk through the tube for the first time. She seems to be tolerating it well.
With the following bible verse, I want to invite you to give thanks to the Lord for what he’s doing in Malak’s life:
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
I talked to her doctor. She said that on Friday morning, Malak struggled with her breathing and they had to intubate her again. Since then, Malak has been stable, but she still has a little fever.
Despite of all of the struggles, the doctors are considering an extubation attempt again tomorrow. Thanks for praying for our little girl and her amazing mother! It is not easy for her to be that long in the hospital.
When I visited little Malak today, her mother told me directly that she is concerned about her daughter because she is running a little fever today. But during the day, Malak was improving more and more.
First they removed the chest drain and later in the day they successfully extubated her. I’m so amazed how good this little girl looks after being on the ECMO for 8 days! His mom was very happy that she didn’t have to be alone while waiting for the extubation and even happier after the doctors told her that everything went well.
At Sheba Hospital, Malak was successfully disconnected from the ECMO yesterday. Today was her first day without the machine and the doctor said that she is stable for right now. Maybe tomorrow she will be extubated if she does well this night. The doctors want to keep watching her reaction to this new change.
After having two big surgeries last week at Sheba Medical Center, she had to be connected to the ECMO because she was really critical after having two surgeries.
Today she has been successfully removed from the ECMO. Directly afterwards, her condition was stable.
Please pray for Malak as the hours afterwards are always very critical. And we give our thanks to the Sheba staff who are doing really their best and are hoping for this little girl to get better.
Our little Malak had a successful catheterization today. It was a rather dangerous procedure for her, since she is in such a critical condition already, but thank God all went well. She was in the cath lab for over four hours as the doctors widened several arteries and placed stents in her pulmonary artery. They hope that this will increase her oxygen levels and give her a better chance of coming off the ECMO machine safely as soon as possible. Depending on how she recovers from the cath, the doctors may even try to take her off the ECMO tomorrow.
Her mom was so happy about her success that she was dancing in the hallway of the hospital! Please pray that sweet Malam will be able to safely come off of the ECMO without any complications. May God bless this beautiful baby and her lovely mother.
Malak is still kind of stable on the ECMO and at the same time in a dangerous situation. Let us pray that the cath tomorrow will go well, and the doctors will have success, and for peace for her mother.
God please heal beautiful Malak!
Today we visited our little Malak in the Sheba MedicaI Pediatric ICU; she had her surgeries two days ago. As you can see in the picture above, she‘s still in a critical situation – she’s still on the ECMO. Because of her very small pulmonary artery, the doctors are thinking about scheduling her for a catheterization on Thursday in order to dilate her pulmonary artery.
Seeing Malak in such a condition, led us into prayer: “Lord, please hold your mighty hands above Malak.”
I want to invite you to stand with us in prayer for Malak in these days which are very critical for her – especially the catheter intervention. Let us hold on to God, who is in control of everything, including the life of Malak.
Today was the long-awaited surgery day for our little Malak in Sheba Hospital. After a wonderful weekend together with her and her mother in Jerusalem, we brought her last night to the hospital for her admission.
This morning at eight, they took her into the OR and the long waiting time for her mother began. After seven and a half hours, she was back in her room, but as it was a long and very complicated surgery. The doctors decided to put her on the ECMO. They found out during surgery that her pulmonary artery is too small and so enough blood cannot get to her lungs. This was very hard news for Malak’s mother, she was crying and kept saying, “I just want her to live. She is such a beautiful girl!”
After only one hour in her room – her mother wasn’t even allowed yet to go to her daughter – the open chest started uncontrolled bleeding, her heart rate was very high and the doctors decided that she has to go right back into surgery. And again, a long waiting time started. I was totally impressed by Malak’s mother though. From the worries she had at first about her beloved daughter, she now told us over google translate, “If it is better for her to go, it is that she doesn’t have to suffer on this earth. Death is very difficult. I’m very afraid that I will never see her smile again, but we wish mercy for her. She is a very weak and beautiful being at the same time.” To have this trust in God in such a difficult situation, amazed me absolutely.
Again three hours later, Malak was back in her room. The doctors were able to stop her bleeding and to kind of stabilize her, but she is still in the most critical situation to be in. Her heart still has a lot of problems, and the next hours are the most dangerous for little Malak. But we want to trust God that he will make it right.
And so as this long day ends for all of us, including the surgeons who came back in the late afternoon, only for Malak’s surgery. We want to thank God for everything he did today. He is good and he has the best plan for Malak and her family!
Today Malak had an echo. Before we went into the echo room, I took her in my arms and she took a small nap.
While we waited for the doctors, Malak drank some milk and fell asleep again in my arms. Her mother was very grateful that I made her fall asleep. The doctor said that Malak has gained enough weight for her surgery. Her oxygen level is too low though, so that she is going to stay with us in our community home for a couple of days. The doctors will decide what the next steps are for Malak, which will probably be to do the surgery next week.
This morning, I met a sweet baby girl, Malak and her grandmother at the Gaza border for her first cardiology appointments at Sheba Medical Centre. While Bria and Quinlan helped Malak into the car seat, her grandmother blew kisses at us, repeating the phrase “Praise be to God.”
Our visit to the hospital was later than we had hoped because of some delays at border control, but we were still able to get Malak to her first echo appointment and EKG. The doctors will have Malak return for another appointment in a month to continue monitoring her situation, waiting for the best time to admit her for surgery. There is a comfort and relief in knowing this child’s situation is being monitored well in advance.
Coworker Bria left to bring the car around, while coworker Quinlan and I stayed in the lobby with Malak and her grandmother. In the Lord’s perfect timing, another grandmother from Gaza walked into the lobby and the two united, embracing in tears. An Arabic-speaking woman beside me explained that Malak’s grandmother and this woman are neighbors in Gaza. After a long, tiring day of navigating borders, hospital wards, and foreign languages, Malak’s grandmother was still full of hope as we pulled away from Sheba toward the border.
It’s a happy day for all the Muslim people today, because of the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr holiday. So it is even more special for them that Malak and her grandmother can go home. Beautiful Malak (which means “Angel” in Arabic) was also dressed very nicely.
Malak’s grandmother was so, so happy to go home and greeted coworkers Hanna, Tatiana and me with a big smile and many kisses. Also all the other women from Gaza have been very happy for them and escorted them to the door. She made a lot of friends during her time in the hospital.
Malak, diagnosed with Down Syndrome and the heart defect of Tetralogy of Fallot, spent one month at Sheba. She had a diagnostic cath and several CT scans. The doctors decided that she needs heart surgery at the age of 3 – 6 months. Until then, she will stay at home in Gaza, but with a checkup appointment at Sheba in one month.
Today, coworker Ben and I visited little Malak and her grandmother at Sheba Hospital. Malak is doing well, but in the night she still needs oxygen support. The doctors discuss now if she might need surgery right away or if they can wait some months.
Otherwise she is doing well and gaining weight. Malak’s grandmother was also very thankful for coworker Ben who speaks Arabic. We prayed for all the little children in the ICU.
Please join in these prayers and also for Malak, that the doctors may have wisdom about the next steps for her.
After Malak’s oxygen dropped quite low last week, doctors at Sheba Hospital put her on oxygen support. Today they tried to remove the oxygen support again and they will watch how she is dealing with it.
If she is doing okay without oxygen support, she can go home in the next days. If not, then she needs a cath and the doctors will decide then if she needs also a surgery.
Malak’s grandmother hopes very much that all will be well and showed me again and again how high Malak’s oxygen level was at the moment. Let’s pray for the doctors’ decision regarding a cath or if little Malak is well enough to go home for now. Please pray also for strength for her grandmother.
Today coworker Lilly and I visited cute little Malak and his wonderful grandmother. The doctor said that she is doing very well. She eats well, and only needs a little bit oxygen support now. If she doesn’t need the oxygen support anymore, she is probably going to be discharged to Gaza, but they don’t know yet, when it’s going to happen.
Malak is a beautiful and calm baby girl and it’s nice to see how she is improving. Let’s pray that she can go soon back to Gaza to her family.
The nurse told us that Malak has already gained weight. They want to keep watching her, but if she keeps gaining weight she may be discharged on Wednesday or Thursday. Malak’s grandmother is really thankful for that!
Please keep on praying for Malak’s recovery and for her whole family!
Today I visited little Malak and her grandmother at Sheba Medical Center. Last Thursday the doctors mentioned that she might be discharged today, but unfortunately this was not possible. Right now, Malak has to gain weight first, after this and if she’s still stable, she can then go home.
Malak is a very beautiful, cute little girl. Please continue praying for her.
The doctor told us that for the moment, Malak is pretty stable and does not need surgery immediately. If everything stays the same over the weekend, she will probably be discharged on Sunday.
Please keep praying that Malak stays in such a good condition.
Cute little Malak is stable and doing well so far in Sheba Children’s Hospital ICU. Tomorrow she will have a diagnostic and possibly interventional cath. The surgeons might decide to repair a hole in the heart (VSD).
She is such a cute girl! Her grandmother loves her, but is also very worried. Let’s pray that everything is going well tomorrow and that doctors can help Malak by way of the cath.
Malak (Arabic for “angel”) was born in the southern Gaza Strip with Down syndrome and a combination of heart defects which would have shortly ended her life. Doctors in Gaza gave her a special medication to keep her alive until she could be rushed to Israel this afternoon. Thank God she arrived safely and is now stable and undergoing assessment in preparation for surgery.