Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
Paid in full

A Day Spent Caring

Posted on Sun, 02/25/2018 - 18:18 by Jesse Tilman

Today we found Basant and Jana in ICU, their escorts taking care of them with the nurses and doctors.

Basant was getting some repositioning and was voicing her complaints. Her guardian was worried and we encouraged her. She'll probably have some more time in ICU recovering.


We sat down with Jana and spent some time getting to know this family. She was doing well when we came by. She had been crying at times before, we heard. Now she mostly enjoyed watching movies and telling her grandmother "no." Later they moved her to the secondary ICU, its first residents in a while.


In the ward, Deia'a was cheerfully accepting all the presents that came by for Purim. We even got a hat for him. He's eating better these days and his grandmother is happy.


Abed and Hala were getting ready to leave. We spent some time with Abed and took some selfies together. He's feeling well and looking forward to getting back to university.


Hala we saw just before lunch and decided to return. Afterward we found that her and Abed's paperwork was ready and they could go just as soon as we had a vehicle to take them! Hala still has a virus and is scheduled to return for another try at the surgery in ten days. Till then they are able to rest at home.


We soon had everyone's luggage at the front door and a vehicle on the way. As we dropped someone off at the Shevet base, our families were able to say goodbye to Amar and Lindsey there. They coordinate a lot of the Gaza work and it was a blessing for them to get to see some of the people today.

Post-op Courses and Pre-op Treatments

Posted on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:14 by Noelle Chung
Post-op day #2, Basan is being cared for in the ICU. The surgery was done successfully, repairing the ventricular septum and the pulmonary valve. Although she was extubated yesterday, because of the small amount of pericardial effusion, she has to stay in the ICU one or two more days. Her mother is in peace believing that Basan will be soon recovered.
Jana received catheterization yesterday and underwent surgery today. Her mother kept calm till the end of the surgery. She explained to us how difficult it was for her and Jana to get a permission to come to Israel. The surgery was done well. She needs to be cared for in the ICU for the time being.
Seven year-old Hala with curly blond hair came to the hospital two days ago with our Gaza team. She is a bit shy and looks anxious, but her grandfather takes good care of her.
Her surgery was planned for today, but it has been delayed because she has fever. To find out the cause of the fever, an ultrasonogram for the kidneys and blood test for bacteria were done. The doctor said that the reason might be tonsillitis, and she will be treated with antibiotics for several days. 
We thank God who provides through many people’s hands what we need. Also thanks to our supporters who gladly give away their financial and prayerful support. 
"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God." 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

Visiting and Clinic-ing

Posted on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 17:21 by Co-authored

Noelle Chung writes:

Eiyad who came with our van two days ago with oxygen saturation 56%, is now stable in the hospital. He is waiting for the surgery, but it is important to wait until his recent lung infection is completely healed. The doctor also decided to check a brain CT scan tomorrow, for any possible brain infection or other anomalies. His grandmother is also feeling okay, spending time conversing with other parents in the ward. 

Little Basan is operated today.
Her mother was bowing down on a mat praying. Tears were in her eyes. We could not say much to her because of the language barrier. However, we hope for God's mercy on Basan that the surgery will go well and she will have healthy childhood in coming years. 
Another catheterization is planned for Daia tomorrow, because of the mild aortic narrowing.
Nowadays, he seemed to be depressed, not wanting to eat or play or talk. Maybe long hospitalization and repetitive procedures have made him weary and worried. I asked next door for Abd to come to say hi to Daia everyday. 
Abd's hospital course is all good, and he is going to be discharged in a few days.
He is practicing his English, and helping us to communicate with Arabic parents. We are looking forward to his future after discharge. His father has become friends with our coworkers Yosef and Suhail. All of them smiled brightly. 
Jesse Tilman continues:
The clinic day was crowded as we found many West Bank families present as well. Some old friends and some new. We focused on the Gazans though.
Salma, a beautiful girl stuck close to her mother and wouldn't hold hands. They waited patiently as others pushed ahead of them in line. It's her first time to the hospital, so we tried to give them extra care.
Remas has been here a few times. She growing up and some of the staff recognized her and congratulated her. She's a little bit shy but is used to cameras. Her and the next two were on checkup echos.
Fayez is an energetic young guy just getting his help today, as the other kids.
His Mom was talkative and glad for a guiding hand.
Abed is an easy-going fellow with a playful personality.
I got to hold him a few times and view some artwork together. They got into the process and went step by step through the preliminary checks and then into the echo room.
Hala came after lunch for surgery admission today.
She was here a few weeks ago and got the recommendation from Dr. Sagi. With some fresh scabs on her nose, she looks ready to play rough, but just kept close to her father. They brought them in and began situating them in the ward.
Thank You Father God for Your loving hand in these young lives. May they remember that it was Messiah's love that made their healing possible.

Full Gaza Clinic Today!

Posted on Sun, 02/18/2018 - 19:23 by Co-authored



Written by: Nate Geer


We were able to pick up another boy from Gaza today! Due to some miraculous meetings, better pre-planning, and a prepared Gazan Grandmother, the crossing from Gaza to Israel was relatively quick and easy. This was a huge blessing because unfortunately, 8 month old Eiyad was not in a good condition when we first saw him at the Arez crossing. When we assessed his vital signs to decide if he needed an ambulance, his blood oxygen was at 56%, this is severe hypoxia and dangerously close to causing permanent brain damage. 

However, praise the Lord, he responded well to the oxygen that we gave him and we made the decision to take him in our van.  Eiyad's heart has a condition called TOF that is actually a conglomeration of  several defects that can lead to episodes of turning blue and even fainting. Eiyad had two mild episodes on the way to the hospital. We were also told that he was not taking any medications but later discovered that he was on several to treat a recent case of pneumonia. Due to his rough condition we did not get to see very much of his personality on the drive. 

But I think he will be causing a ruckus when he gets better because the only time he giggled was when he managed to get poop all over the bed while the nurse was changing his diaper! He is now safe in the hospital with his doting Grandma. 




Written By: Jesse Tilman

"Forbid them not to come unto me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."


Visiting the hospital today, we found a good size group from Gaza.

Daia, who we know, was spread eagled on his bed with other Gazans around. He didn't have much energy to play in the short time we saw him, but his cheer held up. We cajoled him a little bit and encouraged his mother/grandmother.


Next door was sleeping  Abd, whose father has spent a few nights with us. A nineteen year old, he's a bit out of the mold of our usual patients. It was good to finally see him, if not meet him.


Also next door was sleeping little Basmat. She's admitted for surgery soon.


Two children were able to return to Gaza today. Sarah and Mohammad Z. were privileged to be on the schedule to go home. 

Slow moving Sarah even got up and showed off her standing skills for us in the crib.

Mohammed Z. just slept and gave his mom a break.

We got them down to the border in good time and enjoyed a sunset on the way back. 


Update on Daia

Posted on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 01:00 by Alena D'Olimpio

Three Shevet kids were in the ICU this morning, but one of them, Daia from Gaza, was stable enough to be moved to the secondary ICU early this afternoon. Praise God for his mercies! Daia is quite a bit older than many of our current patients, so witnessing him going through the ups and downs of catheterizations, surgeries, and recovery is particularly hard because he understands more than many of the younger children.

His grandmother was weary as she has been at the hospital for about two weeks, so please join our community in praying for her renewed strength and for the Messiah to be her refuge in this trying time. But let us not lose sight of the hope for Daia. He was not only moved to the secondary ICU today, but also had a steady appetite. He had a slight cough, so the doctor from the ICU came to check in during lunch and did not seem too concerned after listening to his respiratory system. These are small triumphs, yet triumphs nonetheless. Please continue praying for Daia, his healing, and his grandmother. Yeshua tells us to lay our burdens on Him, and He will give us rest, and that is exactly what these two precious children of God need. 

Seven Families for the Clinic

Posted on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:42 by Esther Vine

Today we had a large influx of families from Gaza come down to Wolfson for the echo clinic. Seven to be exact! It was an early start for them as they drove down from the border and were brought straight to the hospital. Unlike a lot of the children Shevet Achim works with, there was a mix of ages; some of the kids as old as thirteen or fourteen.

To say their day and the volunteers working with them was long would be an understatement. Sitting in a waiting room in the hospital to find out whether you need intensive surgery or not can be extremely nerve-racking. When speaking with some of the grandmothers/mothers, they often didn’t even know what was wrong with their child. It was a strain to have to watch as others went in and out, waiting for their turn.

Volunteers handed out fruit and pita sandwiches at lunch to keep everyone going and slowly by slowly, families went in for their scan and came out again. At the end of what seemed like an eternal day, mothers, grandmothers, babies and teenage boys made their way to the front of the hospital, tired but undefeated. It was a triumphant sight to have them all back on a little bus headed home, chatting and laughing. 

Progress and Recovery

Posted on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:01 by Noelle Chung

Today we heard a good news from Wolfson hospital that Wisam could be discharged today. He went through so much tribulation since he was born; jaundice due to hemolysis, two steps of surgeries, postoperative respiratory distress, acute renal failure, and ventricular fibrillation. After spending a month in ICU, his condition is finally stabilized showing a good result in echocardiogram today. He is drinking well and sleeping with peaceful face.

His grandmother who must have been anxious a lot recently, talked on the phone with Wisam’s parents with an invigorated voice. She has showed her strong mentality during all Wisam’s progresses. Receiving farewells from other parents, we headed for the border of Gaza with Wisam and his grandmother. 

Wisam still needs medications and regular follow-up in Gaza. 

Seif got catheterization today. His vital sign is stable and he has no complication. Discharge is planned for tomorrow.

Mohaned is stable with his grandmother’s care.

Daia is still on oxygen with nasal prongs, but generally doing fine enjoying playing puzzles.

Please remember these precious children in your prayers!

No One Closes a Door God Opens!

Posted on Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:43 by Maxine Stuart

Today was another day that we witnessed God’s guiding hand over the work we do here at Shevet.

This morning my team set out to do the usual visits at Wolfson hospital, but were on standby to pick up a 1 month old baby from Gaza who needs urgent surgery. I am almost at the end of a training program with the national ambulance service here in Israel, and was very fortunate to be joined by my fellow trainees and good friends, Liza and Nate. We were all excited to have the opportunity to use our emergency services training for God’s emergency services today.

We got the call just after we arrived to the hospital and set off immediately. We discussed baby Seif’s condition and our plan-of-action along the way. We made it to the border in good time, and waited for the first sight of our new little friend. Our Gaza team back at Shevet was in communication with us, and had received word that baby Seif was due to enter Israel at any moment.

Well, one hour turned into two, and then three. During that time our Gaza team made many phone calls as we gained permission and access to the border crossing building. There were a few times when it felt like we were hitting a wall that we would not get through, but we said some quick prayers, and each time, we got a step closer. While we were waiting at the gates, God brought along an officer that I recognised from a previous case. She quickly helped us gain access. Once inside, we discovered our baby was still held up on the Palestinian side of the border. While we waited further, I was praying for God to help me make relationships with the border staff so that future cases would benefit. God answered my prayer, and brought along the very officers that manage all civilian crossings. Without me even having to ask, they kindly offered their help in future, along with their contact details.

Because it was close to the border’s closing time, our team back at Shevet were praying hard, then we began to receive more help from multiple Israeli officers. Through many radio conversations, and ferrying of paperwork, they managed to get baby Seif and his grandmother through the final hurdles. They even re-opened the border gate (after closing time) to get them through! We were all very relieved when we finally saw a lady carrying a small bundle wrapped in blankets. They were the very last Gazans to cross into Israel that day.

Liza assessed baby Seif, and although his temperature was a little high, he was stable. We let our team know that we were on our way, and they alerted the hospital. The ride to the hospital was calm and peaceful.

Baby Seif was doing well, his oxygen saturation levels and heart rate were alright, and his grandmother was glad to finally be with us.

We even had a few laughs as Seif chugged down his milk quiet noisily! Between the 3 of us he was well monitored, and we didn’t even need to use the oxygen tank or any of the emergency responses we prepared for.

We arrived at the hospital safely, and were finally able to hand-over baby Seif.

He underwent some tests while we got him registered into the hospital system. We left him in the very capable hands of the Wolfson team, and the other Gaza Mums warmly welcomed Seif’s grandmother.

We left felling happy and privileged to be a part of God’s work today. He continually gives us His favour when we put our trust in Him. I have experienced this time and time again when volunteering at Shevet. He really pays attention to every detail! I know it sounds silly, but God even gave us His favour with the border’s vending machine! We had had no lunch, and as our last few coins dropped in, the machine malfunctioned, and out popped an extra packet of chips! We laughed and realised God was watching over the baby and us.

God is SO good and He loves us all so very much. What a wonderful God we serve!

Steady Progress

Posted on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 21:28 by Alena D'Olimpio

Daia is on day number two of his three day stay in the ICU. He is breathing with the help of an oxygen mask, but it no longer using a breathing tube. While I visited him, the nurses were working to set up a movie for him to watch, and doing their very best to make this sweet boy comfortable. He occasionally reached for the hand of his grandmother who was sitting beside him. Although he experienced pain yesterday, he is on the road to recovering and in the good care of Wolfson doctors.


After nearly a month in the ICU, baby Waseem was in the secondary ICU today, which is a gift from God. The past couple of visits, this little one has moved very little, and was somewhat fussy. However, today Waseem was active and in a good mood. Praise the Lord that this Gaza baby is steadily improving!

Zeyn, another baby from Gaza, arrived yesterday! He was up and around today, and is stable while he waits for surgery!

Mohaned (not pictured) also arrived from Gaza yesterday, he was in the middle of surgery while we were at the hospital today. Please join us in praying for this little one as he comes out of the operating room and into the recovery process!


Gazans in Good Hands

Posted on Sun, 02/04/2018 - 16:45 by Jesse Tilman

We got to visit our Gazan patients today. Sometimes they feel a little out of sight and out of mind over there at the hospital, so it's good when we get to give them some time and attention.

Daia is doing well after his catheterization. We played some foosball and put puzzles together until he went for a blood test.

Wasim is in ICU and the nurse said he's stable and doing better. He's covered with blankets and looks cozy.

Little Mohammed's grandmother got her wish and returned to Gaza today to trade out with his other grandmother who will take over his care.

Another baby Mohammed from Gaza I just met, is in the secondary ICU getting good care and able to be held often by his mother.

All in all we were blessed to be able to minister to these families this afternoon. They know that we are there to help them.