Talal's Heart Surgery


A Sweet Time of Fellowship

Posted on Sun, 08/21/2016 - 16:13 by Ruth Zellweger

This past Friday, Sophie, Jonathan, and I had the privilege to stop by Talal's house on our way to Amman. We only announced our visit about an hour before we actually arrived. However, the family was prepared and ready. They gave us a warm and heartfelt welcome. Talal ran straight away to Sophie and gave her a big hug. 

Even though it was a short visit, we truly enjoyed our time with Talal and his family. The way the family interacts - by lovingly teasing each other and sharing laughter - stood out to me. They have not given up hope, but invest in their children and a future with better circumstances. All of their children are attending school, which is not normal for Syrian refugees in Jordan. School starts in a few days, and Talal is very excited to go back there to learn more. He proudly showed us his new backpack. 

We praise God for the way He has been watching over Talal and his family. It is a joy and honor being able to visit children who had heart surgery after their return home. May the Lord use these visits to remind the families of His love and faithfulness towards them.

Courage to go to Israel

Posted on Sun, 10/04/2015 - 21:51 by Annie Magnusson

Together with Jonathan, Ruth and Arwa's father I got the special opportunity to see Talal and his wonderful family in their home in Jordan. Talal is one of triplets, and the family have altogether five children. They were all very open and received us with so much welcome. They told us that Talal is doing well and his heart is functioning well with his pacemaker. He seemed very healthy and full of life, just as children should. 

As we sipped on our strong Arabic coffe, the parents asked Jonathan open-hearted questions, reflecting on and appreciating their time in Israel and the help they got for Talal. Initially, they had been afraid of going to Israel, but Arwa's family had shared with them the good experiences they had with Shevet Achim and Israel. That gave Talal's family the courage to let him get his surgery in Israel. 

By the end of our visit, one of Talal's beautiful sisters gave me as a gift a pretty envelope with a drawing inside that she had just done. The drawing showed the four visitors - Jonathan, Arwa's father, Ruth and me. The girl had done a very neat job trying to capture our different features. It was so sweet of her. Try to guess who is who! 

I pray for God's presence and blessings over this beautiful family in the future, and continued health for Talal.

Bound Together in Love

Posted on Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:45 by Lindsay Martin

It still amazes me how God can bring together people from completely different cultures and turn them into family. Talal and his mother were here for a very short time, but they quickly became a part of our community. Talal with his strong spirit of adventure and his mom with her sense of humor; both of them brought so much joy and laughter to our home.

During the farewell party, we shared some of our favorite moments with Talal and his mother. Afterwards, we presented them with gifts as a way to show our love and best wishes for them as they leave. When we finished presenting the gifts, Talal’s mother surprised us with a hand-embroidered wall hanging with the words, ‘Thank Shevet Achim” written on it. She even embroidered our logo of two hands coming together to form a heart. What a beautiful picture this is. The mission of our organization, brothers (and sisters) dwelling together in unity, being lived out through their time here. Though we all come from different parts of the world, we can see Colossians 3:14-15 coming to life in our community:

“Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts.”

As we drove Talal and his mom to the border to go home, I occasionally looked back to see how they were doing during the long car ride. Each time, Talal’s mom would look at me and mouth the words, “thank you,” with tears in her eyes.

This is who God is. He is love. He is peace. He is healer.

Quite a Splash

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 16:21 by Brian Mace

Judith, Marilyn and I took Talal and his mum to Wolfson hospital today for his final echo. It was a very long day for him, with many long waits, but Talal was always in a loving and fun mood; he enjoyed his day out very much.

We began in the Echo department, which appeared to be full with other children waiting for their echos. During the lengthy wait to be seen by Doctor Alona, Talal played in the children's play house with Marilyn, who, at one stage nearly became stuck in so small a building. They both had amazing fun. His echo was a great success, for he was released to return home, subject to a pacemaker test.

We then took Talal downstairs to the Pacemaker department, where his pacemaker was tested by computer and found to be working perfectly.

The doctor in the Pacemaker department also kindly removed a stitch from Talal's wound, which had protruded and had been troubling him.

As it looked like a long wait for Talal before we would have a vehicle to take him back to base, Konrad, Judith, and Marilyn took him and his mum to the nearby beach, where he had the time of his life: sitting in the water, paddling, throwing stones into the waves, and eating an ice cream.

Sadly for us all, Marilyn's time of service here had come to an end, and I took her to the airport during the afternoon. Afterwards, we were able to return Talal and his mum to base, both falling into a happy sleep during the drive back: a happy, relaxing, and very successful day out for them.

A Relieved Smile

Posted on Mon, 06/01/2015 - 20:52 by Camilla Madsen

Today I had the privilege of taking Talal and his mother to an echo at Wolfson Medical Center. On the way to Tel Aviv, the mood was very good – we had fun and were laughing and smiling. Talal is a happy child, filled with humor and a charming smile.

When we arrived at the hospital we were waiting a while for the echo. We spent the time drawing, playing, and running down the hallways. Talal’s patience was really put to the test test.

However, we tried to have fun, and in the end, a cellphone saved it all. When we finally got into the examination room, Talal was excited and happy. His mother was a bit more nervous, but she stayed calm.

The result of the echo was amazing. Everything looked as it should, and the relief in both Talal’s and his mother’s eyes was huge. Talal is improving very well after the surgery, and God willing, he will have his final echo next Monday along with a check on his pacemaker. After the relieving echo, we headed towards the cafeteria and had a little party because of Talal's great results.

It was an amazing day in the hospital. We got to spend lots of time with Talal and his wonderful mother. On the way back to Jerusalem, we had a sleeping Talal and mother in the backseat.

Talal's Monday Adventures

Posted on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 21:18 by Jesse Tilman

Dear Talal came with us today to renew his travel documents at an inner-city office and then get an echocardiogram at Wolfson Hospital. Things went smoothly, and we were able to get to the hospital in good time. 

We showed off his new papers to the entrance guards and headed over to the children's ward to pick up his hospital folder before walking over to the echo department. There, Dr. Alona was soon able to do the exam and remarked positively on Talal's progress, although there were some thoughts about the effects his pacemaker is having (the one he had inserted before coming to Israel). He's due back for another echo in a week. 
Afterward, we returned to the ward to have some of Talal's stitches removed. This was done expertly in seconds with Talal as compliant and helpful as ever. It wasn't long before we were back on the way home!

Red Lips

Posted on Tue, 05/19/2015 - 16:05 by Jesse Tilman

Talal and his mother were glad to come home yesterday. An echo confirmed he is making great progress. His mother showed off his newly red lips! After some waiting for us to arrive, they practically jumped into our arms as we approached. The nurses prepared his medicine and they said their goodbyes. We plan to go back within a week for a follow-up echo.

Fast Recovery

Posted on Fri, 05/15/2015 - 15:54 by Brian Mace

Marilyn and I spent a most enjoyable afternoon and evening on Thursday, traveling to Wolfson Hospital and the Gaza border. Our first task was to visit little Talal to see how he was doing in ICU. I was amazed to find that he had been extubated in the morning, which was the day after his rather lengthy surgery.

He looks well, but was crying for his mama.

I went to find her, and he was at peace again when she was at his side ministering to his great thirst. A nurse told us he is doing well.


Posted on Wed, 05/13/2015 - 21:13 by Julia Binder

First of all, thank you Lord for this day! When we arrived early this morning at Wolfson Hospital,Talal was already in the pre-op room. So we decided to call his mum to make sure that she is alright. After she came out of the surgery department, she broke out in tears. She was probably already emotionally excausted and had many concerns and sorrows. So we took her in our arms and tried to comfort her in our limited Arabic. She calmed down very fast after that, so we headed back to the children's ward. The waiting time we spent mostly on the little playground outside the building. She was showing us photos of her beloved son, and you could see the sparkle in her eye when she talked about him. She said to us in English: “Talel is very strong.“ And I can just agree with that.

While we were waiting, she left a few times to see friends of hers around the hospital. I was impressed by how many contacts she's already made during the last weeks. That reflects her joyful and kind spirit. She is a woman with a big heart for others, and she enjoys talking . And then we were waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting....

….until we decided to go back to the surgery department, which was a good decision. After maybe ten minutes of waiting, the surgeon, Dr. Sasson, came out and told us that the surgery was successful and everything went well. So then we were waiting for Talal to come out of the operation room soon. Talal's mother again was crying, but this time it was because she was relieved. When they brought him out of the surgery room, she jumped to her feet and shouted, “Talal!” What a joy to see a mother in that very moment. With tears in her eyes she ran to her son, feeling what only a mother can feel for her son.

While we were waiting to go into the ICU, she was already joking around with us. We took a picture of our feet, and when she saw that her feet look kind of blue in comparison to our feet, she said, “My feet need oxygen!” Yes, they definitely need a surgery.

What really sticks in my head was a printed photo of Talal. Many times she was holding the photo close to her heart, and whenever she accidentally dropped it, she would pick it up, clean it with all her love, and hold it back close to her heart. For me that was a beautiful picture of God's love for us. I think if He were to have a printed photo of us, He would also hold it close to His heart. And every time we fall, He picks us up, wipes the sin away, and holds us close to His heart again.

So after a long hospital day, it was just wonderful to see her smile coming deep from her heart. In the end, she expressed her thankfulness many times by saying, “Shukran min alqalb” - which means “thank you from my heart.”

Yes, not only Talal proved himself strong; His mother was also so strong; and God was even stronger. 

From Disappointment to Laughter

Posted on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 19:36 by Marilyn Isaacson

Brian, Rebekah, and I went early in the morning to Wolfson Hospital, as Talal was due for an operation first thing this morning. When we arrived, both mother and son were found sleeping peacefully. They eventually awoke to hear the very sad news that Talal's operation was canceled.

The sadness on both Talal's face and his mum's was heartbreaking to see. We were trying to cheer them up, and since we had some puppet gloves given to us, we were playing with them. The smile and the laughter on the faces of Talal and his mum were so special after such sadness a few minutes ago.

The hospital staff indicated that hopefully Talal's operation will be on Wednesday. We know the LORD is in control of every situation.