Gaza Children's Heart Surgery

Gaza Children
Paid in full

Lots of Updates!

Posted on Tue, 03/06/2018 - 18:04 by Co-authored
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26
For our clinic, we had five families from Gaza come to Wolfson for echoes. When we entered the hallway to spend some time with them, the atmosphere was very quiet and all the kids seemed to be shy and fearful. We brought some toys to play with them, but we didn't really know what we could do with them at first. It's easy with babies, you can just take them and carry them around, but these kids were all about 4 years old and up. Hamad was already 15 years-old.
Fortunately, we had a little tennis ball in our bag, and the kids loved it. It was so good to see how they just started to smile and to laugh!
So we played a little bit of "soccer" with two of the boys (Hussein and Jamil) and another girl that was there, but not through Shevet. 
Hussein is a three and a half year-old boy, that has already undergone two surgeries in his short life; one when he was six months-old and the other at one year. He has also had a catheterization, and now they are considering a third surgery for him. In half a year he will come back for another echo, and these results will decide whether or not he will have another surgery. 
Jamil on the other hand looked about the same age, maybe a little older, four to five years old. He has had three surgeries already! Once as a little two week-old baby, then at two years, and the most recent was a month ago. He was there today for a postsurgery echo and is doing well now. Praise the Lord!
While those two lovely boys were playing with some Lego that we brought, another one really sparked my compassion. His name is Ahmad. He is about seven to eight years old and it was his first time at the hospital. So he was going to be admitted today, but was really unhappy about it. He cried all the time and looked so so sad, because he wanted to go back home to his parents. His grandma is escorting him. It was good to see that his dad called him to encourage him very gently and you could feel he was really caring for his son.
The last guy was Hamed, the fifteen year-old boy. It was not easy to interact with him because he is already grown up, and none of us speaks his language. But he seemed to be comforted and relaxed. So he has had his first surgery at the age of six and another one two months ago. So it was also a postsurgery echo for him. He is doing well so far; let's pray that this state will remain! 
Mohammad came to Wolfson today from Gaza in an ambulance because he was not healthy enough to wait for what could potentially be hours in the immigration line without oxygen. The Palestinian medics were very concerned for Mohammad and ran straight to the ICU with him, but the nurses there told them to get out and take the baby to the ward with indignant cries of "Ma asitem?" (what are you doing?) and "Lama po?"  (why here?). So now, he is being treated for RSV pnemonia in the ICU isolation room. His treatment is going well.
Eiyad received one of several surgeries he will be getting in the coming years, this particular surgery closed a hole that was between two chambers in his heart.
Today, he was extubated and is in a stable condition. He will remain in the ICU for a few more days while they care for the surgical site drainage. 
We visited Daia again today. He is intubated in the ICU and in a serious condition.
Even with multiple CT scans the doctors have still not been able to pin down exactly what is going on inside his brain. They do know that his aorta was torn during the last catheterization, which needed a patch grafted. They also know that a cerebral hemorrhage occurred while he was in the ICU. He was one of the first children that I visited when I started with Shevet nearly two months ago. And it was sad to see his previously athletic frame thin and weak from his extended hospital stay. Please pray for a miracle in this young man's life! 
His grandmother is wilting, and there is sadness in her eyes. Although the situation is very bad, we should trust God who is faithful and makes all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. We should not lose heart, and keep praying for Daia.
Written by: Nate Geer, Sophia Vogt, and Noelle Chung

Loving on Our Gaza Kids

Posted on Sun, 03/04/2018 - 23:19 by Nate Geer

Archie and I visited the Gaza children in Wolfson hospital today. 

Daia has been in the ICU since Friday and is intubated again. It is his third time going back to the ICU and his mother is starting to feel the strain of constantly waiting. Because they suspect he may have had some sort of stroke, he is scheduled for a CT scan in the morning. Even with all the stress that Grandma was under, she carried around a napkin full of candies that she offered to the other families and nurses in an effort to raise their spirits! 

I got to meet a little one named Mohammed for the first time today. Even while intubated, he was active and full of vigor, constantly moving his arms and legs amongst all the tubes and wires. The ICU was very busy so we did not get to stay long. The nurses gave him some breathing tests while we were there.

We met a friendly clown named Stuey who had hitchhiked across the US!
 We also got to see Eiyad again when he came back from Gaza for a check-up. The first time I saw him, he was at the Erez border crossing to Gaza and in rough condition, so it was good to see him this time looking happy and healthy. 
Basan is still recovering from her surgery 2 weeks ago and was being carefully observed in the ward.
Please pray for all of these precious souls made in the image of God! We are thankful for the chance to show them love. 

Happy Clinic and Daia Update

Posted on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 20:14 by Co-authored

Today nine children from Gaza came with their parents or their grandma to Wolfson hospital.

I took some time until everything was organized, so the kids could go to the doctor. While they were waiting for their echos we had the chance to get to know the kids a little bit and they seemed all very joyful.

We gave them some pitas and fruit for lunch and the moms were really happy and thankful. A three year old boy named Kamal was first a little shy, but also very curious and was smiling a lot.

The echos went well and the kids were allowed to go back home again. Most of them will have to return in six months or a year to be checked again by the doctors.

While the families were waiting until everyone was done and the papers were ready, we had some time to play with the five year old Jude.

She had some doctor's items to play with and a little doll, which was her patient. It was a long day and the families were happy when they were able to return home.

Praises to our great lord who is protecting these children and caring for them and fills them with so much joy!

One of our longer term Gaza kids, Daia, was in the ICU today. He had a cath and surgery yesterday, although what specifically was not made known to us or his grandmother at the time. He was heavily sedated and looked exhausted from everything he’d been through in the past couple of days. His grandmother was especially impacted by this sudden turn over as Daia appeared happy and was sitting in the ward talking two days previously. She spoke with the doctor in the ICU briefly who assured her that Daia is stable and recovering. She came back to Shevet Achim tonight to eat as well. Daia will hopefully be back to his old self soon.

Written by: Rebecca Keller and Esther Vine

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!