Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
Paid in full

A Rainy Gaza Clinic

Posted on Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:44 by Co-authored
"Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receives the early and late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:7-8

Nine families were able to come this morning for the Gaza Clinic. One was scheduled for catheterization and three for surgery. The rest were for echocardiograms, but as the day rolled a few plans changed.  There was a good rain for an hour as they were exiting the border.  The refreshing coolness was very welcome. 

Ahmed, already in the ward after surgery, was approved to head home today as well. 
Judy, Naseem, Mohamed, Hassan, Samir, and Ahmed all came for echocardiograms. Judy had the pretty white dress and was a bit shy. Naseem was sporty in an orange tshirt. Samir had his shirt off for a while. Hassan was with the blue jean shirt.
Judy or "Jidi" as it is pronounced in Arabic, was admitted for catheterization after the echo inspection found cause. Mohamed has some spikey blond hair. 
Marwan came for a catheterization. He's the sweet baby. 
Ali and Mazel and Mahmoud came for surgery. Ali is the teenager and Mahmoud is the smart young guy in yellow plad.
Gazel also came from Gaza, by another route from our regulars though. She had a nice purple doll. 
Some interns got to know folks throughout the day and a group of English speakers came by to see the work. Doctor Tamir showed them the new 3D printed models of the heart they are making of each child to better understand each case. 
Georgia Willcocks adds:

Here is Hassan before he was admitted. His grandma can speak English so we were able to have several chats throughout the day waiting together. We didn't know Hassan would be admitted until after his echo.

Mohammed waited patiently for his echo while he sang to himself. His guardian was pleased to say the echo had a good result.
Quiet Judi in her beautiful outfit. She was admitted today as well, following her echo.
Samir was looking smart. He had a good echo and went home today. He is a lovely boy, here with his guardian who was full of joy and energy.
Yamen and his grandma. He is making a great recovery from his surgery we are told. He has had a good echo and good chest x-Ray, however his oxygen sats are still a little lower than the medical team would like. The plan is to keep monitoring his recovery, but they are hopeful that he will be extubated tomorrow. 
It was nice to see his grandma again after he was admitted last week. She was pleased to tell me about how well he is doing. She seems such a kind and generous person, who is also making friends with the other Gaza families; there was a real little community there when we arrived! 
It was a lovely group of relatives accompanying these children, who were fun to be with and I enjoyed to spend time with them. 

Sunday Gaza Children Check

Posted on Sun, 06/10/2018 - 15:28 by Jesse Tilman

Ahmed has a few more days till he goes home. He's petty lax in bed now and barely wanted to notice us at first.

Raghad and Anas go home today Raghad walks around and was holding onto mommy.
Anas likes to hold his hand over his head.  He smiles happily when you show him something. 
Tasnim is healing in the ward. She is a ball of baby fat rolling on her bed. Her mother was cheerful.
Yamin is scheduled for surgery today after arriving on Tuesday. Her grandmother is willing to miss the end of Ramadan holidays for her. She was wearing a pretty dress today and suckling on her pacifier.  She can't eat now until after the surgery. 
Baby Mohammed is in the ICU after surgery. He's under isolation with an infection. 

Weekly Visit for the Gaza Clinic

Posted on Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:34 by Co-authored
Jesse Tilman writes: 
Seven children came out of Gaza today along with Dr. Basher. One child was planned to stay for an operation. Dr. Faez was also in attendance and Amira came too. 
Heyat was sporting some exercise moves. After her echo she colored with Georgia a while. 
Nissan was a blessing and remembered calling out car names with us from last time. 
Yousef was quiet. A young man, he is getting to know the world. 
Inji was very prettily dressed and enjoyed coloring as well. 
Yamen was the one already on the schedule for surgery. He slept most of the time. I got to hold his hand a little and encourage his guardian. He was getting a bacteria test, then an echo, then being admitted. 
Alla is the cutey wearing jewelry. She was quiet and held tight to her bottle. Later she got up a bit when we blew bubbles for her for a good ten minutes. She's a bit unsteady on her feet, but did alright. 
Nabeel was a bit shy and could barely look at the camera. Through the day his patience began to wear thin. He was the last on the taxi home though, as we sorted out his things.
The time with the Gazan visitors included a visit from SACH donors accompanied by their director Simon and the hospitals head heart surgeon. Some American interns spent some time with the crew afterward.  Later a school girls group came by to hand out presents. 
Over in the ward we found Ahmed, Anas, Tasnim, and Raghad.
Ahmed had a few remote control cars when we saw him. He's after surgery and probably only has a few more days in hospital. 
Georgia Willcocks adds:

We saw little Tasnim in ICU today, being fed milk by a nurse. The nurse was happy to explain to Jesse and I that she was extubated today, and she is making a good recovery. The plan is to monitor the recovery, to see whether she needs a further surgery. Yusuf was able to spend some time chatting with her guardian later on today about coming to faith in Jesus. We pray for Tasnim's recovery and for her family to be blessed with revelation of Jesus! 
We visited Raghad a couple of times during today's trip to Wolfson. She was asleep both times; the first time we prayed a blessing over her, and the second time we spoke with her lovely grandma. She pulled back the sheet to show me the dressing covering Raghad's surgery site.
Please keep praying for Raghad's recovery and a blessing for her family. 
Jesse and I visited little Anas today. He was alert and smiley, and has such beautiful eyes. He had a balloon which we played catch with, which he loved! He laughed and smiled which was fun to see. 
Keep him in your prayers.

Good Reports

Posted on Mon, 06/04/2018 - 16:23 by Co-authored

Written By: Heidi Troyer

Today we walked to Wolfson hospital and it was a beautiful day. We first visited Ahmed. Upon arriving, we found out that he was moved out of the ICU and into intermediate care. He seemed to be more alert today than during the visit yesterday. We found out his oxygen level was 98, which is good. He seemed happy and so was his grandmother.

Written By: Alisha Hershberger

We went to see the remaining Gaza children that are still not quite healthy enough to leave. 

One of our younger patients, Anas, has had his surgery recently, but seemed very well today. He had a twinkle in his eyes and a bright smile. He was very responsive and was clearly bubbling with joy. The Spiderman balloon by his bed was a treasure for him. Anas's grandmother was right by his side while we visited and she was very pleased with his current progress.

Our third child, whom we did not get to see today, was in surgery during our visit. Our prayers go out for them to have a successful operation.

New Friends

Posted on Sun, 06/03/2018 - 21:20 by Co-authored

Written By: Timothy Carden

Today, I spent the morning in the Wolfson hospital, where I had the pleasure of playing with a few children from Gaza. 


Firstly, there was an 8-year-old boy called Ahmed. Ahmed was in ICU, having just finished his surgery. Despite all of the tubes attached to him, he was still able to force a smile or two. We talked a fair bit, mainly about football, until the nurse finally told me I had to go.

I then got to see 4 little children from Gaza, of which 2 were being discharged that afternoon. It was extremely heart-warming to see the joy on their guardian’s face, after having their children healed and ready to go back home. I wished them all the best, and I was soon on my way out. Amazing experience. 

Gaza Clinic for our Young Super Heroes

Posted on Tue, 05/29/2018 - 23:38 by Jesse Tilman

Nine brave children journeyed despite the rocket barrages to the hospital from Gaza today. Two for surgery admission and the others for echos. Other patients from the West Bank, Tel Aviv, and a few from Africa later on in the day were at the same echocardiogram department for the clinic day. It was a fun, active time.

Tall Mohammed has been coming for years.  He came for a follow up echocardiogram. He first came almost 14 years ago as a child. Sheila showed us his picture on one of the wall collages. She remembers him from those years before. He's the one in yellow on the right.

Zina is a thirteen year old that was diagnosed today. She is being scheduled for a catheterization soon.

Tasnim is in pink. She was doing well and playing, smiling.

Small Mohammed is an adorable young guy with a blessed attitude. 

Ahmed in grey stripes came for admission. He wasn't excited for it though. He didn't need an echo before going to the ward.

Rghad also is staying for surgery soon. She had an echo and then went down to the ward.

Both doctor Basher and Faez were able to come today, as well as a lady named Amira.  She's a doctor in training. She came to visit us afterward at our Jaffa house.

Odei, from the West Bank, is not one of our kids, but did his best to become one. He even tried on one of our volunteer badges. He and I rolled coins around and fought imaginary superhero battles.  

In the ward Mahmoud is doing well out of ICU and in the secondary. 

Sali is discharged and on the way home today. 

Ismail hopefully tomorrow will be discharged.

Young Najala was also admitted unexpectedly and getting an uncomfortable blood test when I came by. 

We wrapped up the day with a taxi ride home for the families. After all the reports were written and the luggage stowed, they were on their way.  God bless these dear ones! 

Long-Termer Rafif Going Home!

Posted on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 20:32 by Jesse Tilman

Little Rafif is finally going home to Gaza! After more than 2 months in special care at the ICU, she is now being discharged. She's gained weight, held on through multiple infections, and slept through most of it. Guardians that have come have stayed short amounts of time and put in every effort to care for her. The hospital staff provided round the clock care and special attention to fatten her up and get her free from infections.

We were hoping to send her to her house where there is less chance of her getting or receiving infections. But she is going to a hospital in Gaza.  She does need the care. So thank you for joining us in praying she can grow. Her young body can make it, but she has a long road ahead. 

The staff gathered around as Rafif was prepared to go. A few took pictures as we chatted excitedly. A little extra attention and some last smiles and we said goodbye to her. A Palestinian ambulance had come down from Jerusalem to take her to the border.

A Song of Ascents
 When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “Yahweh has done great things for them.”  Yahweh has done great things for us, and we are glad.  Restore our fortunes again, Yahweh, like the streams in the Negev.  Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.

Psalms 126:1-6

Five plus One at the Gaza Clinic

Posted on Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:46 by Jesse Tilman

Five families came up for echocardiograms this morning. 

Raav is an almost five year old who received surgery at 7 months. She smiled occasionally and enjoyed a bouncy ball. She will return to Gaza today. 

Anas is a year and a half now and over 8 kilos. He's already had surgery and is back for a checkup. He's being admitted for a further  Glenn surgery. 

Mohammed  Z. comes in at  5 and a half kilos and is doing well. He's being admitted for a catheterization. 

Maria is being admitted for surgery soon. 

Sham is a one year old little girl that came for an echocardiogram. She will return home today. She'll be back soon for a catheterization in preparation for surgery. She cried at the sight of me at first. 

So we had three admissions and two returnees.

Naim came after 3 o'clock for a follow-up  echo. He good naturedly posed for photos.

Our other children from Gaza that are in the hospital are coming along step by step.

Rafif has had many infections. She's been in and out of intubation, but has been on her longest stretch now of about a week staying out of anesthesia.  Visitors came by today, a fundraiser from California being shown around by SACH staff and doctors. Rafif's had many near death experiences. Isolation has been her place, they are making sure no one else gets the infection. We were talking about sending her home today, but settled on tomorrow so that we have time for the paperwork and logistics. The infection has been a concern of the staff for the rest of the patients for a while and they are looking forward to moving Rafif out.

Mahmoud is still in ICU as well. He had his magnesium and calcium ranges brought to balance. They are planning to perform an ECG and start some oral feeding soon if he can handle it. He's still under isolation with an infection as well. 

Sali is recovering in the secondary ICU. 

Ismail is still in the ward, he's looking at having surgery this week.

Doctors Basher, Faez, and Yasmin  came as well to meet with a delegation from the UN that visited in the morning. It was good to see them again. 

Three Discharges Today

Posted on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 22:53 by Jesse Tilman

Three of the Gaza kids went home today.

Lian, Ahmed, and Mahmoud all were able to make the trip. Mohammed also we thought was going to go but at the last moment the doctor saw another test result and decided to keep him for another day.
Ahmed doesn't want pictures, but the other guys smiled for some. We spent some quality time with them and were glad to be part of their lives.

Gaza Clinic on Nakba Day

Posted on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 04:44 by Co-authored

Seven families came today and a few were already here. Others came later and we had another child come by way of Ramalla first. It was a little strange doing the healing clinic on Nakba Day as people in Gaza were protesting and getting hurt and dying. But there is faith and trust in the works of God. He is in control.

Ahmad Zimo's guardian didn't want his picture taken. He's an active young guy and really put up a fuss during an EKG. It's a check up that doesn't hurt at all, but I think the wires on his bare chest were disconcerting and/or brought back some rough memories. He was admitted after the echo for a catheterization.
Zeyad tried out some hand signs as we took pictures. He's a cool young guy and enjoyed the time today. 
Little Lama was born only last December, so is now about 5 months old. She was actually scheduled to get admitted forg her heart surgery today according to her files, but this sweet girl is too young still.
She will come back in a couple of months when she is old enough for the surgery. Besides that, she is an adorable little baby. Laughing and smiling all the time, she had a lot of fun today and finally fell asleep in my arms. It was a long day for her, that made her so tired. 
Maha is a lovely little girl with a stern face. She just had an echo today and went back to Gaza. 
We got to see Marwa again. She was a special child we got to spend time with for a few weeks before. She's doing well now and it was great to be able to reconnect with her and her grandmother.
It took a while to coax a smile from her but after her grandmother showed us a coloring page she had filled in we found that she enjoyed signing her name on it in Arabic first and then even English with a little help. 
Sali is a girl, that catches your eye at the first sight. She is about 1.5 years old, but has a very self-confident, mature and joyful charisma.
She was admitted today for her first heart surgery, even though she has been at the hospital before for some other heart treatments. Let's pray for that cute girl, that God may bless her and save her life and her soul. 
Lian also had an echo and then was admitted and went with me for an x-ray. Her quiet guardian very humbly asked for help here and there.
She had on a funny Mini-Mouse shirt. 
Ismail from Gaza came to the clinic later, a bigger boy.
He had gone to Ramallah first and then was directed to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv when the seriousness of his case was better known. He's on the list for a surgery soon. 
We found Rafif peering around in a tan beenie hat from the isolation room of the children's ICU.
It was good to see her (!). My apologies for previous blogs that spoke of her as a male. She was awake and very actively taking in her surroundings. 
Baby Mahmoud was also still in ICU. He was also under isolation and overcoming some infections. Hopefully we'll see him heal up and move out soon. 
No one from Gaza is in the secondary ICU right now, but we found a few in the ward. 
An old friend Ahmad was there from well. It was good to see him.
Pre-teen Mahmoud was there as well, though we didn't see him on our first time through; I think he was in the children's room out in the play area. He was doing better than when I saw him in the secondary ICU. We played some mini-racketball before saying goodbye. I didn't get any photos today, but her's some from a few days ago. 
Sophia and her sister Anastasia were a big help at the clinic. With so many kids, it's a lot to be a part of. Yousef of course was running the show and keeping up on the opportunities also. Praise the Lord for His Abundant Grace for everyone there, Gazan, local, American, German, from the West Bank and more!
Written by: Jesse Tilman and Sophia Vogt