Ahmed's Heart Surgery


A Visit to Ahmed's Home

Posted on Sun, 03/13/2011 - 06:40 by Jonathan Miles

Tonight Donna Jo, Kristina, and I finally caught up again with Ahmed and his family at their home in Amman, Jordan. Ahmed was discharged from the hospital in Israel some three months ago and sent home with the expectation that his gangrenous hands and feet would eventually self-amputate.

The first impression on seeing Ahmed is how good he looks. He's grown, his head of hair has filled out, he is smiling, and his father says the difficulties with blood circulation have apparently caused no neurological problems, as Ahmed understands everything well and is beginning to speak.


We were also grateful to see what the father called a "regeneration" of skin beginning on Ahmed's right arm and left leg, which were the first two limbs to become gangrenous. As you'll see in the photos below, the black skin has begun to peel back from its previous level and reveal fresh healthy skin beneath.

Ahmed's father is a doctor, and he and the consulting physicians hope that this improvement might mean minimal amputation eventually takes place, at the wrists and ankles. The father told us he goes to Ahmed's bed each morning, hoping to see a miraculous restoration of his hands and feet--but also that he doesn't believe miracles happen any longer, not that God has changed but perhaps because people have.

It was clear to us after our visit that Ahmed's physical condition is not the only challenge this family is facing. The father told us he is seriously depressed and has started smoking heavily (even though he treats many terminal lung cancer patients). He blames himself for not intervening sooner in Ahmed's care, convinced that he might have saved his son's limbs. It's also apparent that Ahmed's older brother Amer is suffering from the changes that this illness has brought into their family life.

Kristina prayed for the family, and Ahmed's father shared the relief he felt at having someone to talk with about their situation. Caring friends, please would you continue to pray as well for our suffering neighbors, asking God to show us how best to stand alongside and support them.


The Power of Hope

Posted on Tue, 11/23/2010 - 06:40 by Donna_West

I had an opportunity to speak with Ahmed's father as he stood by Ahmed's bed, and I could feel the cry of his heart for his family (an older son, age 4) and his wife who is expecting their third child. He spoke of trying to reduce the stress of being in the hospital for his wife during her pregnancy and he spoke of Ahmed's brother not understanding why he could not play with his little brother. The father said, "I don't know how to tell his brother he won't be able to play with him." I could hear the sound of lost hope for a good life in his words and the helplessness of not being able to prevent what he saw as a disastrous outcome.

In Acts 3 Peter and John met a man lame from his mother's womb as they went to pray. He ask for money (which Peter and John did not have) but the disciples offered what they did have in the name of Jesus the Messiah from Nazareth. As we continue to pray for this child until our prayers are answered, all I had to offer was hope. I told Ahmed's father I could foresee the brothers playing together. The older brother would love, protect and help Ahmed. Ahmed will teach him compassion for others and will be a source of encouragement to overcome challenges in his life.

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There is power and renewed strength in HOPE to those who will believe. The video above shows this father's desire to believe. He has now brought Ahmed out into the sunlight and the corridors of the hospital in a stroller. I see evidence of expectation of a good life for Ahmed. Thank you, Lord for a promise and a vision of hope. Please continue you to pray for this little boy who is already starting to teeth, grow, and change.

Alert, Responsive, and Looking Better

Posted on Sun, 11/14/2010 - 00:00 by Donna_West

I have not seen baby Ahmed from Jordan since the day several weeks ago when I phoned the Shevet center and requested everyone to gather for prayer for this child. When I first saw him, both hands, forearms up to the elbows, both feet and legs up to his knees were black with death. The gangrene was even discoloring his thighs and he was unconscious in the ICU.

To my delight, today I found him out in the intermediate ICU, not only conscious but alert. His limbs are more than halfway better than when I first saw him. With no exaggeration, I can begin to see the color of life return to his left leg and the sole of his left foot.

As I stood at the side of his bed today and spoke words of life, love and healing to him, gently touching his head and hands, he began to make a few baby sounds. He is even responsive. I look forward to visiting him and continuing to watch what the Lord is doing in his life.

Fighting for Ahmed's Lifeand Limbs

Posted on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

A life-threatening complication after Ahmed's heart surgery has cut off circulation to his limbs, and his feet and calves, hands and forearms, are now black, cold, and hard. Ahmed's parents are both doctors, Palestinians living in Jordan. The doctors in Israel want to wait up to a month to see if there is any improvement before amputating at least part of Ahmed's limbs, but the parents are struggling to understand what they see as a catastrophe and are considering leaving for Jordan this week, despite the medical risks this might entail for Ahmed.

Ahmed is a beautiful child, alert and peaceful, and I tried to speak words of faith and hope to the parents. They are desparate for something to hold on to, and want to know if we'll stand by them if their son will survive and need prostheses in the future. They allowed me to photograph Ahmed so that I could share it with you as a call to prayer.