Arwa's Heart Surgery


Waiting On God

Posted on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 20:40 by Lindsay Martin

 Today was a day of waiting for Arwa and his mother. We arrived at the hospital this morning and found them in good spirits. As we waited, we enjoyed tea and biscuits with Sarur's father, who is staying in the same room as Arwa and his mother. 

As time went on and the waiting continued, Arwa became very restless. He had been fasting for several hours and wanted milk. His mother was so patient as she continued to entertain him with clapping and other noises he enjoys. He even got in a short nap, which was a nice respite for the mother. 

Early in the afternoon, the nurse came in to inform us that the surgery will be moved to tomorrow. The mother took this news graciously and was excited to be able to feed him again. 

We look forward to the morning and hope for the awaited surgery for Arwa. Please pray for peace in the mother's heart and sweet rest for her body as she waits for a new day.

I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning, more than the watchmen for the morning. 

Psalm 130: 5-6

Patient and Placid

Posted on Mon, 02/09/2015 - 20:21 by Julia Binder

Today Kristina and I went to the hospital with Arwa and his mother because he needed to be admitted for his surgery tomorrow. Arwa and his mother were both surprisingly calm the whole time.

Upon our arrival, Arwa had a short body check and then the nurses started an IV. After that, his mother signed the release papers for the surgery, and they then settled into their room. I then waited with them for Sarur to come back from his echo. I had a sweet time with Arwa’s mother. We shared about our families, and discovered how much we both like chocolate and orange juice. Even though we were not able to communicate with words, we could still communicate using facial expressions or pantomimes. This of course is not the same as verbal communication, but it was a good challenge and I enjoyed the time.

Arwa’s mother was very patient and placid, and even when we had to leave she looked calm and ready for tomorrow. Maybe it was also good for her to know that Sarur and his father are staying overnight as well. Even though they were originally not going to stay the night, I assume it will help Arwa’s mother to have somebody she can turn to. I am excited for Arwa and his big day tomorrow!

God and Three Gifts

Posted on Thu, 01/29/2015 - 22:51 by Julia Binder

God has a lot of gifts prepared for us everyday. Today I was amazed in a totally new way at how He blesses His children. The first gift of the day was that Arwa could come home from the hospital. To see the joy of the parents in that moment is a gift itself. Arwa's mother has a very sweet and gentle spirit with such a deep love for her son. Arwa and his mother both have a winning smile and a calm, beautiful aura.

The second gift of the day was a short, spontaneous trip to the beach. The discharge went so smoothly and quickly that we had enough time to go there. I assume it was a very special moment for Arwa's mother and Sarur's father to see the beach.

We had the right timing, because when we came the sun was about to set. I felt so alive in that moment. There was the endless ocean and the red sky and, in between, two little babies and God's great love. I cannot tell how much beauty in that moment was, but it was definitely a lot.

And in the end, the biggest gift God has given us is to see both babies alive: breathing, growing, and healing.

Mighty To Save

Posted on Wed, 01/28/2015 - 00:11 by Ruth Zellweger

Our Shevet community and friends from all over the world have prayed these past weeks for permission for little Arwa to come to Israel for life-saving heart surgery. Doors remained tightly closed, while Arwa's condition worsened to the point that he had to be hospitalized in Jordan. But by God's grace, both the Israeli and the Jordanian authorities issued all the necessary travel documents for Arwa, opening the door for him to finally come. Late last night, our Shevet family welcomed him and his mother into our home in Jerusalem.

After a short night's rest, we were off to the hospital early this morning.

As we made our way to Tel Aviv, Arwa fell asleep in his carseat, as well as his mother in the seat beside him. I saw that Arwa was breathing heavily, even in his sleep. He is such a small and fragile little boy who, due to his congenital heart defect, failed to thrive since he was born.

At the hospital, the kind nurse at the children's ward took his vital signs and then sent us to the echo department for an echocardiogram. I have never seen a longer and more thorough echo than today's. For almost two hours, Arwa was examined carefully by three different cardiologists. 

And even though they were very busy today, Dr. Hanita took time afterwards to explain to the young mother what exactly Arwa's problem is and how the doctors hope to fix it. I was impressed by Arwa's young mother, who remained calm throughout the day. While waiting for the chest x-ray, she told me that she is expecting her fourth child. Because of this, she asked me to be with Arwa during the procedure.

Back at the ward, Dr. Michael examined Arwa and drew his blood. Even though it was initially planned to send Arwa back to Jerusalem with us, he ended up being admitted for a night of observation. This will help the doctors make sure that he really is stable enough to stay at the Shevet base until his surgery, which hasn't been scheduled yet.

After they were settled in their room, both mother and son fell asleep. It had been a long and exhausting day for them and they needed the rest. We are praising God for His timely intervention in Arwa's life. He is mighty to save. Please continue to pray with us for precious Arwa and his sweet mother.

Praying for an urgent visa

Posted on Mon, 01/05/2015 - 00:42 by jonathan

Syrian refugee baby Arwa needs urgent heart surgery, and is hospitalized in his host country while awaiting a visa to enter Israel. We are asking our Father to sustain his life, and to release permission for him to travel in the next several days.