Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
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Seba & Rafif Update

Posted on Sun, 04/22/2018 - 13:05 by Esther Vine

Today at Wolfson Hospital it was difficult to get photos and a detailed review of what’s going on with our Gaza children as the doctors were all extremely busy with another child in the ICU. However, we were able to get a brief review on the two children there. Rafif is incubated in the ICU presently, and according to his doctor he will have a CT scan on Tuesday to check on his recovery progress. He is apparently doing well and everything is going smoothly with him, praise God! As for Seba, she is having her chest closed up today so there is anticipation of that improving her situation.


Seba, Rafif, and the Clinic

Posted on Tue, 04/17/2018 - 23:26 by Co-authored

Seba had heart surgery today and is now back in the ICU. Her chest is still open. We had thought this surgery was done a few weeks ago, but that was another operation. Seba's kidneys failed last week and had to be recovered. With her complicated conditions she's received a few procedures, but is hopefully finishing up. Right now she is on a machine for cerebral oxygenation that is being provided by TruPharm specially. It's a new type. 

Rafif is still in the ICU isolation room and not heading home yet as we heard they wished. His VRE infection is gone but another lung infection that is as yet unknown is still hanging on. His heart condition makes the recovery more involved. Thank God for the excellent care they are receiving.
Six children from Gaza arrived to receive heart evaluations at the weekly Gaza clinic. Although they had to wait more than an hour for the crossing the border, they greeted us with happy faces. I found a familiar face among them. It was little Mohammed’s grandmom. Mohammed was admitted several times previously, for two surgeries and a catheterization. He got finally discharged several weeks ago, and he is well nurtured at his home in Gaza. 
His echo results showed good surgical outcome. The doctor adjusted the dose of the medication and booked an appointment in a month.
Another cute child we met was baby Doa. She had short curly hair, and came with her grandmother.
She was very afraid of the hospital and cried from the beginning. She was even afraid of cameras. So a nurse gave her sedation medicine, because an echo will not be successful if the child is not still. Despite the medicine she could not fall asleep and continued crying. She does not need catheterization urgently, but needs to be followed up in three months. The doctor also changed her normal medication. 
Omar is a 2 year-old, amiable, handsome guy. 
He did not hesitate to make eye contact or hold hands with us, and even shared his snacks with everyone. He also got a prescription and an appointment for the next echo follow up.
Habiba is a pretty girl who had surgery several months ago. She has been doing well in Gaza, and today’s echo results were good.
She was brave and not afraid of the procedures.
A girl arrived late, and we did not have so much time to greet her. Her name was Ein and she came with her mom. As an answer for the question about how she is doing, she said “hamdala”, which means “praise God”. She said her echo went fine.
She looked healthy and beautiful. 
We said goodbye to them when they were leaving on a mini-bus. We thank God that he blessed them with travel to Israel and good assessments and treatments.
Written by: Noelle Chung and Jesse

A Rough Night

Posted on Sun, 04/15/2018 - 23:46 by Jesse Tilman

Our guy Rafif had a rough night. The doctor said they almost lost him; his vital signs crashed. After some hard work they kept his body from failing and brought him back to stability. He'll be monitored closely in the next few days. He's still in isolation in ICU.

Seba is also healing up in ICU. She might be around another week the doctor said. Meanwhile he wants her aunt to return to Gaza.
Probably another family member will come when Seba needs looking after as the aunt is anxious to look after her own family.

Seba's Surgery Completed

Posted on Thu, 04/12/2018 - 23:03 by Jesse Tilman

Little Seba has had her surgery and is now in the ICU room! With a few African kids to keep her company, she's in good hands there with the professional staff. 

At such a young age she'll probably heal up quickly and be transitioning to the secondary ICU and then the ward soon. Her aunt is already talking of going to Gaza so we'll see if she sticks around or switches out with another guardian. Thank you God for another healed life!

Two Babies from Gaza

Posted on Wed, 04/11/2018 - 21:17 by Jesse Tilman

Seeing our children from Gaza this morning at Wolfson Hospital, I thought afterward of the blessing of giving. It's nice to receive help, gifts, and care, but how much more are we blessed when God puts us in a place to be able to give it.


Rafif is still in the isolation room of the ICU. We heard that his family calls almost every day to see how he's doing. He's been stable for a while and is on antibiotics for his infection, but it's a resistant strain. The managing doctor spoke of sending him to a Gaza hospital soon where he could be with family and still be cared for. This will probably happen in the next few days.


Seba is a 7 day old girl who was delivered to the hospital yesterday for urgent heart surgery. She's in the secondary ICU for the day though. Hopefully the surgery will take place soon. With a few heart defects, they are focusing on fixing her PDA, involving a valve that is supposed to close at birth, and her COA, a condition of a narrowed aorta. Her aunt accompanied her and was cheerful to see.

Our work with Gazans is less right now as for a few weeks the border has been and will be largely closed, only dealing with emergency cases. Behind the scenes, the appointments and planning is still preparing for the future though. Thank You Lord for the help and heart blessings you are providing for these families.

Rafif Stable in ICU

Posted on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 21:37 by Jesse Tilman

“See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, because I tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father in heaven. For the Son of Man came to save the lost.” Matthew 18:10-11

Young Rafif from Gaza is recovering strength in the ICU of Wolfson hospital. A nurse said he's stable and mending.

He's occupied the isolation room with his VRS infection for more than a week now. Bronchial pneumonia is in his system and he is on antibiotics. He's receiving some units of blood and the excellent physician care provide here.
At only four months, his young life is only just trying to begin. His heart condition includes VSD (hole between the heart chambers), and he is a candidate for life-saving heart surgery when he's healthy.

Only Two Kids!

Posted on Mon, 04/02/2018 - 05:16 by Jesse Tilman

It's Pesach (Passover - Easter) week and our number of children in the hospital is coming down. Most of the recent ones have been able to return home.

Kareem is in the ward recovering after surgery a week ago. He might go home later this week. We found him happily eating some foodstuffs with hummus. He enjoyed getting to know our co-worker Ariel as we teased him about his haircut. We're wondering if he can come for a visit sometime.
Yazen has been in ICU for better care. He contracted a virus and was isolated there with a red tape barrier. He was the only child there this morning. They soon informed us they wished to send him home today. After talking it over, we decided to bring him back tomorrow when hopefully a guardian can come be the caretaker on the way. 
Till then he has been transferred to the ward in an empty room. With less work during this week the staff should be able to watch over him during the night. We want to transport him early tomorrow morning. 
Thank God for these two! He knows just when to bring them here and when to take them back. They are getting a level of care and attention now that would not be possible at other times of the year.  

Clinic Day

Posted on Wed, 03/28/2018 - 17:25 by Nate Geer

"Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2

Zeyn was especially lively today and is recovering well from his operation. He was standing up and even showed us a little dance. 

Kareem is extubated and doing well considering everything he just went through, but still in pain from his surgery yesterday. 

Eileen was in the ward, resting peacefully. She will be going home today! 

Mohammed is one of the most enigmatic children I've ever seen at the Gaza clinic. 

He really got along with me, playing hand clapping games, and watching me juggle.  

Mahmoud was a stylish little guy, always posing for the cameras. 

Thank you for praying for all of these children as they receive medical care in Israel!

Visiting, Loving, Praying

Posted on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 17:51 by Ariel Au

Today Sophia and I went to Wolfson hospital to visit our Gazan kids.

When we met Zeyn, he was having milk in his bed in Secondary ICU. He is so lovely and active, he kept smiling and playing with us all the time. He looks well:
Little Eileen is also in Secondary ICU now,  she is in one room with Zeyn. She is tired but recovering well. 
Daia has had CT today. He is shy, but when we met him, we were taking photos with him and suddenly a smile flashed up. 
We met Yazen when we were waiting for Daia outside the CT room. He is still in the ICU and was also going to have CT, in order to check if he could have surgery the next days. 
Kareem was still having his surgery when we left the hospital, so let's continue pray for the sweet and lovely kids and their families!

Update: Sunday, 25th March

Posted on Sun, 03/25/2018 - 22:57 by Nate Geer

Today Jesse, Joannah, and I went to Wolfson hospital to visit all of our Gazan kids.

When we first saw Yazen in the ICU, he appeared to be doing quite well.

Later, I decided to go back and visit him again before we left, and saw him in the beginning stages of a seizure. Nurses rushed to action as his skin color darkened, administering a series of anticonvulsant drugs that successfully stopped the seizures. 

Hala and her Grandfather received some good news today: they can go home! Her surgery is complete, and she is doing well. 

It was an enjoyable drive back to the border, it is a great time to talk, and understand more of what life is like in Gaza. I enjoyed hearing the stories of Hala's Grandfather - a fifth generation fisherman!

Kareem is usually shy, but today he was especially apprehensive because his surgery is tomorrow.

His mother was also quite nervous about the upcoming operation. Even so, we managed to get a smile from him with a little lesson in thumb-wrestling.

Zeyn was playing contentedly in his bed in secondary ICU:

He is happy and recovering well.

We caught Daia on the way to get some fresh air with his mom.

The weather was very accommodating! Sometime in the next two or three days he'll probably be discharged.

And finally, we found Little Eileen in ICU and recovering after her surgery.