Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
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Walid: 50-50 For Surgery Tomorrow

Posted on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 23:30 by Lina Sara

Today we went, myself and Aad, to visit Walid at Wolfson Hospital, and to check on him. The grandfather was so happy and excited to see us. I asked him if Walid had had the surgery, and he said not yet, probably tomorrow.

While I was there the nurse came and confirmed that if Walid's blood test is good they will take him to surgery tomorrow morning. She thought the chances to stand at 50-50. So please pray for him, that his results will be good and he can go to surgery tomorrow and may go home soon to his family in Gaza.

Walid Comes to Israel in Time of Conflict

Posted on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 23:06 by Therese P

Today I had the opportunity to join a team from Shevet Achim, getting to know the work here for the very first time. In my current two-week trip to Israel, I did not think I would spend time close to Gaza, especially not at war. But this morning I gave my day fully to Jesus and trusted that he is going to make things good, that he has got a plan which is full of love and hope, and that he is about to create new things - in Israel, among the Jews and Muslims, and in my life as well.

So as I arrived this morning at Shevet Achim I was asked to join the team which went to Gaza, and I did. A five-month old baby named Walid (pictured above with his grandfather) is in need of heart surgery to correct oxygen deficiency. Our task was to pick up the baby right at the border to Gaza, and to bring him to the hospital in Tel Aviv. We had a 1.5 hour ride down to Gaza, which I felt was protected and blessed by God. The area we passed has been shot with about 1,000 rockets in the previous days, so we are grateful that God kept us safe.

As we arrived in the area of the border there was a road block. Israeli soldiers told us they would not let us in for security reasons. We waited a long time while the soldiers discussed our case and made phone calls. About half-an-hour later we were very happy that the baby and his grandpa were brought to us by a driver, and the plan was going to work out. The baby Walid looked quite content and dear driving with us in the car, and soon fell asleep.

Arriving to the hospital, we brought the baby to do a heart echo, to gain evidence for the surgery. I was impressed to learn about the site there at WolfsonHospital, which is doing a clinic for heart-sick children every Tuesday at no charge. The responsible doctor told us that he was concerned about the situation between Israel and Gaza. However he does not want to be a politician or any other high-positioned person trying to solve the problems. His purpose to bring peace and love is to do what he can as a doctor, in his environment.

Walid stays with his grandpa in the hospital now and will undergo surgery soon. During the ride in the car through the critical area I was reminded about verses in the bible which tell that the name of God is our protection and our hiding place. Once again today I saw how true that is, and I know that God is the same for the baby Walid. His little heart is kept safe in God's heart, with his great love for him.

Special Milk Formula for Rimas

Posted on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 14:12 by Lina Sara

(Lina Sara is Gaza Coordinator for Shevet Achim)

On Sunday we received a call from Wolfson Medical Center that the little child Rimas from Gaza is ready to go home, but that she cannot unless she has a special milk called Monogen, a low fat milk. The fluid of the milk is linked to a build-up of fluids on Rimas

Five Palestinian Heart Patients in Tel Aviv

Posted on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 22:12 by Rachel L.

Dear friends,

It's been a few weeks since I have been able to visit the Gaza children hospitalized at Wolfson, so it was good to pay another visit to that hospital this past Friday.

We shall begin with Hala. This tiny baby girl and her twin brother were born to their parents fifteen years after the rest of their siblings. Her brother is fine, but Hala was born with a small hole in her heart. Doctors believe that this will heal itself, but if they are to operate, she will need to gain more weight. Therefore the treatment plan for now is to wait for some months, and feed her extra nutritious milk, which is why she's in Israel. Let's pray for God to close up the hole even now, so that Hala and her family will not have to deal with the shadow of hospitals and operations while they enjoy the blessings of children in their "older" age.

In the next bed over we found Heba. This baby, I am told, was nearly black last week, with lack of circulation. She came to Wolfson right after birth, and remained at the hospital on-and-off for the next two months. Now, after her heart surgery, she is eating and recovering well. This visit, we could tell right away that her circulation had improved by leaps and bounds. See for yourself in the picture above! Why don't we pray that there will be no lasting effects or damage from Heba's previously poor circulation? 

In this same happy room was Wisar, visiting Israel with her aunt for a catheterization. Wisar has had heart surgery twice before, and unfortunately she might still need a third operation. May the doctors to have wisdom and a clear idea of what's best for Wisar!

Lama is here from Hebron, together with her mother. She needs help to repair the pulmonary atresia she was born with. Thankfully, the blood pressure seems to be good, so it looks like Lama will be transferred out of the ICU soon. Let's pray for a complete and speedy recovery for our little friend!  

Finally came the more somber part of the visit. One-and-a-half month old Alma came to us with pulmonary atresia. Like all parents, her parents were hoping to get the surgery behind them as soon as possible. However, Alma developed an infection caused by excess fluid on her heart, so the procedure had to be delayed. Praise God that His timing is perfect, and for that reason we can trust Him to look after Alma's situation completely. Unfortunately no picture is available of Alma or Lama because we were not allowed into the ICU at the time we were at Wolfson. 

Health Problems Delaying Surgery

Posted on Sun, 09/16/2012 - 16:03 by Sarah Pratt

On Friday, a group of Shevet volunteers went to Tel Aviv to visit the kids in the hospital. We were able to spend time with two heart patients from Gaza, one of whom was available for a photograph.

Hala is a one-month-old baby girl who has to wait a bit before having surgery. She only weighs about one kilo, 800 grams (four pounds), as a result of having a twin brother who is about 3 kilos. The staff wants her to gain more weight before undertaking the heart surgery that she needs to live.

Heba is a baby girl from Gaza. I did not get a picture of her, because she is doing so poorly. She has bacteria in her blood, low oxygen, and her health in general is just going down. Please pray for her and her mother.

Two Fragile Hearts in Need of Repair

Posted on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 18:43 by Rachel L.

We were able to briefly visit with the families of two Gaza patients this Friday and learn about their children's current conditions. The individual reports for each child can be found below: 

Hamad Aker - 

Hamad is a seven-month-old baby boy that has had one operation since he first arrived in Israel. However, he has been at the Wolfson hospital for about three months now, due to a closed artery. And due to some breathing difficulties that he's been having, Hamad will need to be hospitalized once he returns to Gaza until he can return to Israel for his second operation, which should take place in six months' time. While we were visiting with the family, the doctors were doing their rounds, and I was able to learn that the staff is slowly taking Hamad off some of his medications, as he seems to be less agitated now that his mother is able to be with him. 

Nasreen Ahmed Barbara - 

This tiny baby girl came to Israel three days ago as an emergency case. She has four holes in her heart, and also needs a pacemaker, as her heart does not beat regularly on it

A Snapshot of the Gaza Clinic

Posted on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 21:56 by Jesse Tilman

Today, there were five pairs of parents and children journeying to the Wolfson Medical Center from the Gaza Strip; some were coming for catheterizations, others for post-op checkups. Once at the hospital, we went through the usual routine: drop the patients off at the gate, wait for the security guards to look over their papers, and wave everyone through. Upstairs in the hospital clinic area, we quickly settled down and gave the doctors all our paperwork and waited for their promptings to enter various rooms. I played with the kids, occupying their attention for a short while, long enough to give the parents a break. Little Ahmed, one of the Gaza patients, enjoyed handling a large stuffed duck and we walked it around and brought it into a child

Three Children in Varying Stages of Recovery

Posted on Fri, 07/27/2012 - 00:00 by Rachel L.

This Friday, because of time constraints, we only had 45 minutes to visit all of the Gaza children at the Wolfson Medical Center. However, we still managed to spend a good amount of time with each child. The individual reports can be found below:

Abdel Aziz- 

Abdel's heart surgery was four days ago after his arrival in Israel the week prior. He is currently in excellent condition and recovering well from the surgery. However, his mother found out this past Thursday that he has a brain growth, and his doctors don't know yet if it's malignant or benign. In light of this situation, I think John 14:27 is a beautiful verse that we can pray over and meditate on for our friend and her son.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27


This child first came to Israel for surgery three years ago suffering from transposition of the great arteries. The doctors were able to correct this condition during his first surgery, but he was required to return for a second surgery in order to complete his treatment. This second and final surgery was six days ago, and Salem is in recovery and high spirits. We hear that the nurses love him, which is not a surprise, because he's such an affectionate person and quite the character. For a small taste of his joyous personality, see the photo below.


Mohammed has been slowly recovering and is at present in the ICU because his breathing still requires improvement. However, his mother is able to take him out for walks in the fresh air which is an immense encouragement to her. Please pray that Mohammed

Four Young Lives Depending On New Hearts

Posted on Mon, 07/16/2012 - 22:28 by Rachel L.

Contrary to many of my previous visits to visit heart patients from Gaza, when a majority of boys seemed to prevail, last Friday

After Seven Months, Yosef Returns To Gaza

Posted on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:41 by Jesse Tilman

Today, as the sunny weather and wind blowing through the trees of Tel Aviv made a good impression, we arrived to take Yosef home to Gaza Strip. He had been in the hospital for over seven months! Though not one of our heart patients, he nevertheless had made his way into our hearts as we built a relationship with him and his Dad over the time of his treatment. His father was always quick to give a smile of familiarity when one of us from Shevet Achim passed by. Also, an Arab man on our team by the same name as his son became his good friend as they shared thoughts and saw each other often.

Little Yosef had a problem with his digestion and had been operated on in Gaza. They removed some of his intestine