Nadia's Heart Surgery

the Gaza Strip

Swollen Ankle, New Diet

Posted on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley

As I walked into Nadia's room today, I saw a little girl with a huge smile on her face. I asked her where her watch was from last week and she just looked up at me with a smile. She is looking a lot better today but still has a bit more to go. Her grandfather is very anxious to get home, but Nadia has a swollen ankle due to a calcium shot they gave her a few days ago and she cant walk on her leg. The nurse said that they will not be sending her home until she is able to walk again and the swelling is gone. Also, the nurse told me that they are putting her on a special diet for the next month. She is not allowed to eat things with oil or with a lot of sugar. The nurse mentioned to me that she eats a lot so this a good sign. Most of the time right after the surgery the children dont want to eat so I am so happy to hear that she has her appetite back. She is on her way to recovery but still needs your prayers.

A New Watch!

Posted on Thu, 11/22/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley

What a blessing to see Nadia smiling and happy today. When I first walked down the hall to the intermediate ICU, I saw Nadia's grandfather pushing her around in the wheelchair so she could get out and about. Nadia is still in intermediate ICU but hopefully she will be moved to the children's ward soon. The nurse told me that they had removed a tube from her stomach that apparently had been misplaced. Right now she has some fluids leaking but all in all she is doing very well.

Nadia wasn't very
happy when the nurse had to change her diaper bandage. So afterwards, I gave her a watch I had brought along for her. When I took it out of the package and gave it to her there was such a smile on her face. She would open the face to see what time it was and then close it. Then a few seconds later she would reopen it and close it.

I thought I would entertain her with some stickers. So I gave her a sheet of stickers and a sheet of plain paper and she went to town placing the stickers on the paper. She was smiling and enjoying herself. Nadia is well on her way to being released, so let's keep her in our prayers.


Surprise Visit from Clowns

Posted on Tue, 11/13/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
The last time I visited with Nadia, she had just been moved into intermediate ICU and was alert. She still had some fluid in her lungs but the fluid levels have dropped a bit today. (If you are wondering what happened to Nadia's beautiful curls, there was outbreak of lice in the ICU a few days back.)

Nadia hasn't had much of an appetite the past few days. This is very common once the children are moved from ICU into intermediate ICU. We have to really fight hard for the patients to eat. So since she hasn't been in the mood for food, we thought that she might like to have a wonderful chocolate snack. So we tried to give her chocolate pudding and she did eat a bit but then after a few minutes she didn't want any more of it.

Today she was bright eyed and wide awake. There was a surprise for the patients at the hospital today. A group of clowns visited and Nadia was able to participate in the fun. They brought many activities with them. This was a great surprise for Nadia. She was so excited and happy to see the clowns. Her grandfather also joined in on the activities. One of the clowns made a dog balloon for Nadia and this brought a big smile to her face. I have only seen Nadia smile twice. I'm happy to see her smiling and happy.

She has a very difficult home life and it's great being able to bring joy to this child. She still has a lot of medical issues and needs a lot of prayer. Please continue to pray for Nadia.


Chest Closed Today

Posted on Thu, 11/08/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Nadia is still in ICU. Her chest was closed today, which made her grandfather very happy. The doctor told me that the past few days there has been a lot of drainage and they couldn't seem to find where the problem was coming from. But today they were able to fix the problem. He said that within a day or so she should be moved into intermediate ICU. Her grandfather didn't seem as worried today when I saw him. He seems very concerned for her and he doesn't know how to take care of her right now. He seems very helpless and lost. Please keep Nadia and her grandfather in your prayers. Pray that during thistime of feeling helpless that God will give him strength.


Chest Closure Expected Tomorrow

Posted on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Before I could even get to the hospital today Nadia's grandfather called me to tell me that Nadia had her surgery and was doing well. I told him that I had heard she had it and I was on my way to visit them. I was talking with Dr. Houri when Nadia's grandfather passed by. He saw me and he decided to come in and say hello. I told him that I would go visit Nadia next but he decided to stay with me to make sure that I didn't forget or get sidetracked with another project. So after visiting with Jamal's grandmother and Dr. Houri, Hank and I went to visit Nadia. Her grandfather seemed a bit relieved that the operation was over but anxious to know if she would have another operation soon. I spoke with one of the nurses there and they said that her surgery was great and she is doing well. She is stable and there is a possibility that they will close her chest tomorrow. Dr. Tamir explained to me that every five years Nadia will need to have her pacemaker evaluated and every six months she will need to have a followup visit. When I explained this to the grandfather he looked a bit disappointed that this was not the end, but thankful that there is help for her. Please keep this anxious grandfather in your prayers. He wants Nadia to be completely well and we can believe God for a complete healing for her.

Nadia Pulls Through Complex Surgery

Posted on Mon, 11/05/2007 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles
Nadia's grandfather paced anxiously outside the Wolfson ICU all day today. Finally Nadia and chief pediatric heart surgeon Lior Sassoon returned from the operating theater--Nadia's complex Fontan surgery was successfully completed! They're pictured together above as Nadia was stabilized in the ICU.

The grandfather's chief question: will she need yet another surgery, or is the job finally complete? The doctors reassured him that today's was the final repair that Nadia has needed, and hopes are high for her good future.

Please pray with us for Nadia's complete recovery, and thank the Lord for another expression of his grace toward the people of Gaza.


First Smile

Posted on Thu, 11/01/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
Once again when I walked in Nadia's room I saw a little girl sitting beside her grandfather and still no sign of surgery. I thought that a change of scenery might do the trick so I took Nadia and her grandfather to the computer/toy room. There Nadia was able to color a little bit, play with a top and help me put a puzzle together. This was the first time I saw her smile. I explained to her grandfather that he could take her there as much as she wanted until her surgery. He was excited to get out of the room and to see Nadia so happy. On our way back to Nadia's room I stopped by to see what the status of Nadia's surgery is. One of the nurses told me that she will have her surgery on Monday. They checked her pacemaker and it is going well. Please keep Nadia and her grandfather in your prayers.

Runny Nose; Surgery Postponed

Posted on Wed, 10/31/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley
When I first walked in to visit Nadia I was surprised to see her asleep, because she was scheduled for surgery today. I spoke with her grandfather for a few minutes to find out why she didn't have her surgery today. He told me that she had a runny nose so they ran some tests on her to see if she had any infection or a virus. The nurses didn't have the results back from the lab work by the time I left the hospital, so I don't know if she will have her surgery tomorrow or they will postpone it again.

When I went back to talk
to the grandfather again, Nadia was awake and sitting beside her grandfather. Her grandfather wants to move around the hospital because he is unsure what to expect and is a bit antsy. He is tired of sitting in the hospital room but he seems nervous to leave Nadia alone. If he wants to go for a walk, he has to physically carry Nadia because she isn't walking very well and this is very difficult for him. I told him to go for a walk while she was sleeping, and I would watch her, but he wanted to stay by her side. Nadia cries a lot so this is very frustrating and tiring for her grandfather. Her grandfather seems to have some health issues as well and doesn't seem to have a lot of strength or energy. Pray that the Lord will strengthen him during these next few weeks that are ahead.

Surgery Scheduled for Today

Posted on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 00:00 by Autumn_Ridley

When I pulled up in front of what the neighbors said was the house for Nadia, I thought they were mistaken. As we turned the corner and I looked down the row of make shift shacks, I couldn't believe that people actually lived there. I have seen a lot of different types of "homes" in Gaza, but this was pretty difficult. Her house was made up of a quarter cement and the rest with tin sheets and whatever else they could find.

We walked into her house and I wasn't
surprised to the inside of her house. It was a very typical setting for Gaza. As I sat with her mother and explained what it would be like on Tuesday when Nadia left for the hospital, I asked if I could take a picture of Nadia for our files. When Nadia entered the room it broke my heart. She could barely walk and seemed very spacey. This broke my heart to see her in this condition. Last year she had an operation at Wolfson and they inserted a pacemaker but she seemed like she had never had any type of surgery before.

When one of the staff at Save A Child's Heart saw her yesterday, she commented on how much Nadia had changed. She remembered Nadia being very active and smiling, but nowadays her mind seems to wander and she isn't a happy little girl. Her grandfather escorted her yesterday, and he seems to be a bit nervous about what will happen and how to cope with the situation.

is scheduled for surgery today, so please keep her and her family in your prayers.