Gaza Children's Heart Surgery


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Gaza Children
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Spending Time with Ali and his Mother

Posted on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 22:22 by Sue Ingersoll

Ali is our 9 month-old boy from Gaza. Ali's mother kindly helped us today with translating for our newly arrived Kurdish parents.

Ali is a contented, good-natured boy with a healed heart. I enjoyed spending time with them today while we waited for Ali to be discharged. It was fun seeing pictures of their family. His mother was a literature major at the Islamic University in Gaza and spoke very good English. She was excited to return to her husband and 2 other sons in Gaza. Ali slept peacefully all the way back home from Wolfson hospital. What a lovely mother and son!

Sozan Update

Posted on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 17:08 by Eva Markewitz

When I went to the echo department today in order to accompany the families, I was very surprised to find Sozan and her mother, who had just come out of the room. Sozan is a young adult woman from Gaza, who already had one surgery a few years ago. But she needed a further one, which she got almost two weeks ago.

With shining eyes they gave me a great hug. When I visited her the last time, she was very weak and lying in her bed. But now she is doing so much better, and the doctor told them that she is now able to turn home to Gaza!

I was so happy for them, it really touched my heart to see the exuberant joy of this little family! May God bless them on their way back home!

Tender Mercies

Posted on Mon, 10/10/2016 - 21:14 by Ruth Zellweger

Even though there is much conflict and suffering going on for the people of Gaza, God has not forgotten them. He loves them and watches out for them. I have been able to witness it with my own eyes and am thankful for each encounter with the families from Gaza. 

Baby Feras is doing better after his open heart surgery ten days ago. He was being extubated a few days ago and is being fed by bottle, even though he is still monitored in the ICU.

Over the course of the past two weeks our team got to know baby Zina and her grandmother, who also came from Gaza for treatment of her congenital heart defect.

Her open heart surgery, where the surgeons put a band around the pulmonary artery, was successful and Zina recovered in the children's ward, her loving grandmother always at her side. Zina was close to returning home to her family in Gaza. Today, during a routine echo in the echo department, Zina cried a lot and her oxygen saturation dropped suddenly and dramatically. All doctors and nurses available were rushing to the echo department, coming from the children's ward and the ICU. Zina was stabilized and is now being monitored in the ICU.

To her grandmother, all of this was a big shock and she only calmed down slowly. The doctors later told us that only because it happened with doctors nearby who could intervene right away, Zina is still alive. We praise God for His love and mercy for little Zina. Her life is precious in His sight. 

Baby Ali is scheduled for surgery this week, on Thursday. I got to know him and his sweet young mother only yesterday, but they made an impression on me. Today they comforted and supported Zina's grandmother, as she was seriously struggling with the events of the day. Ali's mother sat patiently beside her and tried to reassure her Zina is receiving the best medical care possible. I admired her as her son is also seriously ill, awaiting heart surgery. 

Please join our community in praying for these precious children and their families as they going through times of trial and tears. But we know the One who loves and cares more than we can imagine, and it is a privilege to call out to Him on behalf of these little ones.

"The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works." Psalm 145:9

With Eyes Open into the New Year

Posted on Sun, 10/02/2016 - 19:51 by Ruth Zellweger

The last time I saw little Feras in the ICU, his chest was still open. Today I was curious to see how he was doing. When I entered the ICU and peeked into his bed, I could see that he had improved a lot. Not only was it obvious that his chest had been closed successfully, but with his eyes open he looked around attentively. What great news on the Eve of the Jewish New Year. 

Feras is still intubated, but we trust our heavenly Father that He will bring to completion the wonderful work He started in Feras' life. We also pray for the permission for Feras' mother to be approved soon, so that she can give him the comfort that only a mother can provide. Until then we know that Feras is in the wonderful care of the medical staff at Wolfson hospital. Praise God for His goodness. 

Switching His Great Arteries

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 22:09 by Ruth Zellweger

At the age of exactly one week, little Feras from Gaza underwent today successful open heart surgery which corrected his heart defect, transposition of the great arteries. The aorta and the pulmonary arteries were taken off the ventricles and switched around, so that the aorta is now connected to the left ventricle and the pulmonary artery with the right ventricle. After this major procedure, Feras is now under close observation in the ICU. The surgeons left his chest open so that they could quickly intervene if necessary. One of the surgeons said that the next 24 hours are critical. We pray for a recovery without any complications.

Thank you God for caring for this little one and pouring out Your mercy and grace on him. Amen.

A Journey Towards Healing

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2016 - 23:21 by Ruth Zellweger

Feras was born three days ago in Gaza, and after only one day was already at Wolfson hospital in Israel. But this involved many different parties in Gaza and Israel working closely together. Much correspondence per email, whatsapp and phone was needed. However, by the beginning of Shabbat, Feras was under the care of the medical staff of the Wolfson ICU. 

I was able to see little Feras early this morning. He looked very vulnerable and fragile. When the doctors did their rounds, they mentioned that they would try to extubate him because studies showed that the outcome after surgery is better if the child has not been intubated right before. The surgery should be at the end of this work week, when Feras is about a week old. 

Volunteer Suhail spends time helping the uncle of Feras

Feras was accompanied by his uncle, a very kind man, who shares the same name with the little baby. I only speak but a few words of Arabic, but we managed to communicate quite well, in between with the help of some translators, including an ICU-nurse, a Kurdish father and our co-worker Suhail. What a blessing that we have so many connections and people willing to help. 

Kurdish fathers helping an Arab brother going through the same medical journey

The uncle enjoyed the companionship of the fathers of Hawnaz and Tamara, and was able to voice all his questions when talking with Suhail. Upon request from the head of the ICU, the uncle returned to Gaza today, but hopes to return soon with Feras's mother. We pray for favor as our Gaza team works on getting the permissions, which is not easy and usually not very quick. 

When I left the hospital this afternoon, Feras was still intubated. It seems that right now his body needs support from the mechanical ventilator. Thank you for joining us in praying for this precious little one. 

Quality Time with Sozan and Habiba

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2016 - 23:12 by Eva Markewitz

Today Sozan, a pretty 24 year-old woman from Gaza was admitted to Wolfson hospital. She already had a surgery a few years ago, but now she needs another one. First, there were some complications if she is allowed to come for surgery, because she is not a child anymore. But thanks to God, she finally will have her surgery soon!

I had the pleasure of spending some time with her and her family. And thanks to my little dictionary and the few words of Arabic that I know, I could get to know them a bit. Sozan told me she just finished her studies of public relations at university.

After the tests for her admission, they invited me to eat lunch with them together. Although I already had mine I couldn't say no because they were so nice to me! Sozan is very lovely person, I pray that she soon will get completely healthy!

At the end of the day I got to know precious Habiba from Gaza - an eleven month-old girl with a beautiful dress, a pink little hairband, and a balloon bound around her arm.

When she was 4 months, the doctors discovered her heart disease. Last Sunday, she had her surgery, where the hole in her heart was closed. Now she is discharged, and it was easy to recognise that her mother was very happy. After waiting for the discharge letter, we brought them back to the Erez checkpoint. In one month we will see Habiba again when she has her echo to check if everything goes well.

Made in the Image of the Creator

Posted on Wed, 09/14/2016 - 15:53 by Daniel Madsen

This week 5 children came out of Gaza for our clinic at Wolfson hospital. It was a busy day, but we still had a good day with the families. 

Gana is almost 4 years old, and was being evaluated for a possible heart condition. Her mom is a doctor and when she was 2 months old, her mom saw that there might be something wrong with her heart. A week later she had a surgery in Gaza.
The doctor in Gaza said that there is a problem, but at the Wolfson doctor said that it can't be fixed with surgery right now. She will have to be older before she can have the corrective surgery she needs.

Neman is 6 years old. When he was 2 months old he had a hard time breathing. He skin appeard blue and his parents took him to the doctor. He didn't have a surgery, but he will need one when he gets older, in about 2-4 years.

Judy is 2 years old. When she were born they discovered that she did not grow properly.  But after having two surgeries, she is doing well. She will need another one when she gets older.

Hothaefa is 2 years old. When he were born, he went for a check-up at the doctor and he found that Hothaefa had a heart problem. An ambulance took him to the hospital,  and he had surgery that prepares him for another surgery later in his life.

Amira is almost 2 years old. When she was born, the first day they saw that she had a heart problem. She had surgery in the first few days and was receiving follow-up care today. 

All of these children are precious souls made in the image of our Creator! Let us pray for them and their families, especially that they will have peace and trust during the years of waiting. 

 

 

Six Beautiful Children

Posted on Wed, 09/07/2016 - 23:51 by Mark Pavy
Six children with parents were brought from Gaza to Wolfson hospital in Israel this week, either for a diagnosis or follow-up from previous surgeries. 
 
Karem
 
Karem is 8 years old. He was diagnosed by a Gaza doctor believing that he had a hole in his heart when parents brought him in after problems of breathing when drinking or eating food. After being evaluated today, it was determined that the first diagnose was incorrect and he didn't have a problem with his heart. He was released back to Gaza. Thank God!
 
Jana
 
Jana is 6 years old. She was at Wolfson today for follow-up from 2 previous heart surgeries.  When she was just 4 months old she began having severe coughing episodes. It was determined it was related to a heart problem.  Today she is doing very well; playing and laughing like a healthy 6 year old child. 
 
Abila
 
Abila is 16 years old. She was here today for evaluation for a cath procedure. Abila was diagnosed 8 months ago after fainting on 2 occasions while at school. Abila was in good spirits, and seems like happy teenager. When feeling well, Abila loves to sing.
 
Dima
 
Dima is 7 years old. She was here for evaluation from 2 previous surgeries on her heart. Dima was initially diagnosed at just 3 days old. She was unable to breathe and was turning blue. After 2 surgeries, she is currently doing very well!
 
Ahmad
 
Ahmad is 3 years old. He was here for follow-up from heart surgery in March of 2015.  Ahmad was first diagnosed at 7 months old after running a very high fever. An echo was performed and it was determined that the fever was related to a heart condition. Today, Ahmad is doing very well after his surgery.
 
Saed
 
Saed is 8 years old. He was here for evaluation from 3 previous procedures regarding his heart. Saed was diagnosed when he was 1 week old. He turned blue and was not moving. Saed is still not feeling well, he gets very tired when doing physical activity. Please keep him in your prayers for healing. 
 
We have much to be thankful for, and much to pray for! Please join us in praying on behalf of these beautiful children and their families! 
 

Precious Children

Posted on Tue, 08/16/2016 - 22:06 by Eva Markewitz
Today, Camila and I had the privilege to spend time with the Gaza children. There were more people in the waiting room than we expected - a group of "Seeds of Peace Camp" was already there to play with the children. They shared balloons, bursting bubbles, wax crayons, and a lots of laughters. When we arrived, three of the six Gaza families had already left the echo department, finished with their checkups.
 
We got to know sweet Dalia, a 13 year-old girl who loved to paint little pictures.
 
 
She had a catheterization in January but probably needs another procedure. Tomorrow she will undergo a second cath so that the doctor can get a clearer picture of the narrowed aorta.
 
 
Five-year-old Hitam was amazed by the balloons, and he played with almost the whole time during the waiting.
 
 
He had a cath three months ago because his heart had Transpostion of the Great Arteries. After the echo today he was discharged, everythings seems to be okay.
 
 
Little Moataz had lots of fun in catching the flying balloons. He had his surgery two month ago.
 
 
Afterwards he had a few complications, but today the doctor was very pleased with the result of the echo - he got some medications and was discharged.
 
 
We really enjoyed the time with the precious children, it is amazing to see how relationships can be built in just a short period of time. Please continue to pray for the children and their wellbeing.
 

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