Mohammed's Heart Surgery


An Adorable Addition

Posted on Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:52 by Ruth Zellweger

Our Shevet community has expected baby Mohammed and his father to come to Israel for the treatment of Mohammed's heart defect for quite a while. Early this morning in Jordan his whole family of Syrian refugees gathered to say farewell and send Mohammed off with prayers and tears.

As they crossed the border from Jordan into Israel, Mohammed's father teased his son: "You're from Syria, born in Jordan, now you're Israeli!"

They went straight to Wolfson Hospital, due to the risk of Mohammed suffering a cyanotic spelling, and Kristina and I joined them soon after their arrival. Mohammed, a chubby and healthy looking baby, was on the examination bed, his father standing beside him.

The nurses took Mohammed's vital signs, which he tolerated without any protest. Then, Dr. Alona did a first echocardiogram of Mohammed's heart, and reported that he will be admitted overnight for observation.

They also want to start him on a medication to support his heart. If he remains stable, then surgery would probably be in the beginning of next week. We had not known what to expect before Mohammed's arrival; would he need an emergency surgery? So it was good news to all of us that the doctors felt comfortable to wait for a few days to go ahead with surgery.

But soon after, we witnessed a different Mohammed. When blood tests were administered, an IV line had to be inserted. Mohammed started screaming and did not stop. His heartrate went up very high, while his oxygen saturation dropped dangerously low, and his skin tone became bluish. Quickly, the doctors gave him some medication to calm him down.

It took a while, and Dr. Alona took him on her arms to comfort him. She is a wonderful doctor with a loving heart for any child that is under her care. After Mohammed had fallen asleep, she decided to do a more thorough echocardiogram, in the off chance that Mohammed would need surgery urgently in the next couple of days. 

While the baby was asleep, we had time to get to know Mohammed's father a little bit better. He had a hard time holding back his emotions when he signed the consent form for the surgery, knowing that there are risks that have to be considered. He loves his son very much, but seems a little bit overwhelmed by the responsibility of being for the next weeks the main caretaker for his precious boy. We tried to encourage him and were thankful that a fellow Syrian father, Abu Ahmad, is also at the hospital, knowing that he will be a wonderful support to Abu Mohammed.

Before we left we had the chance to see Mohammed awake for several minutes. Once again he was the adorable happy baby that we had seen earlier. Mohammed has already won our hearts.

We pray for strength and courage for his father, and trust in God's perfect timing for Mohammed's heart surgery. Also, we are thankful for the wonderful addition that Mohammed and his father make to our Shevet family, and we are looking forward to getting to know them better.

Rushing Syrian baby Mohammed to the hospital in Israel

Posted on Sun, 10/05/2014 - 22:46 by jonathan

Chubby five-month-old Mohammed looks the picture of health. But this refugee child from Syria turns dangerously blue when he begins to cry, and his defect ("Tetralogy of Fallot") could, but for God's grace, take his life via a cyanotic spell at any moment. We are rushing him to the hospital in Israel tomorrow God willing.