Talal's Heart Surgery


Talal's Cheer vs. The Machine

Posted on Sun, 05/10/2015 - 21:03 by Jesse Tilman

This morning, we took part in the beginning of the mechanisms that will culminate in Talal's surgery tomorrow morning. Marilyn and I drove with him and his mother over to Wolfson hospital and saw him through the admissions processes. His cheer and patient acceptance made for a very smooth blood drawing, and the hospital staff gave their thanks. 

His room for the night is with Israelis, and we said hello to them as we waited for the go-ahead for Talal's x-ray. When we were told it was time to move forward, we found that it wasn't for a standard x-ray but for a big CAT scan! Talal was a bit unnerved by the large, strange machine, but his mother stayed close to him and helped him through. 

We were soon done, and Talal's mother gave him a piggy-back ride back to the room – where he wanted my phone to play Beach Rally on. After some warm farewells we started out towards home.

The Comforts of Home

Posted on Thu, 05/07/2015 - 19:38 by Jesse Tilman

That's right, Mr. Talal is back at the Shevet House and glad to be done for now with hospital business. They had some friends to say goodbye to at the hospital and we took a child down to Gaza on the way home, but made it back in good time even with some traffic. Talal settled down in his usual crouch on our seating pads upstairs and let us take a few pictures. May his surgery be soon!

Upside Down Frown

Posted on Wed, 05/06/2015 - 21:28 by Sarah Powell

We showed up at the hospital today expecting Talal's to be the second catheterization (cath) of the day. It turns out his was the fourth catheterization to happen when all was said and done, which meant a long waiting time before he was finally called in. He handled the waiting like a champ, but he also had to fast from all food and water before the cath. That was more difficult than the waiting.

To pass the time, we pulled on all of our different entertainment resources, starting with several games of UNO.

And, naturally, this flowed into a photo session.

From there, we moved on to the hospital's kid's room. After exploring his different options, Talal settled on watching Ben10 for a while, and he was utterly captivated by it. (Fun Fact: Ben10 has been a favorite of nearly all the little boys I have met coming through Shevet.)

Shortly thereafter, we were informed that an emergency case had come in and there was another child that would need a cath before Talal could have his, which meant he would need to fast longer. Talal was not happy to hear this news. We made our way back to his room, and he flopped down on his bed with tears in his eyes. His mom tried her best to help him smile again, tickling him with a plastic glove hand she had blown up and making jokes. However, it wasn't until our clown friend came that Talal's frown was turned upside down again.

When Talal's mother explained to the clown that Talal was upset because he was hungry and was still not allowed to eat, the clown sympathized with him readily, explaining that she had also been fasting – for five years, seven months, three weeks, five days, eight hours, and two minutes. There was only one food she had been eating that whole time. Excitedly, she pulled out her little leather suitcase to show us what the food was. After a regal trumpet call to get everyone's attention, she pulled out the one thing she's been eating this whole time: bubbles.

Talal had still been laying on his bed up till now, trying to hide the fact that he was smiling a little. But when she pulled out the bubbles, he sat up and paid attention. The clown began blowing bubbles and then picking them out of the air and eating them daintily, remarking on how this one tasted like chips and that one tasted like ice cream. Talal really started enjoying himself, though, when he got a hold of the bubbles and started blowing them himself. He entertained himself for quite some time with blowing bubbles for his new clown friend to eat.

And she even convinced him to try feasting on some of the bubbles too. We took that opportunity to sneak out and get some lunch for ourselves and his mother. However, when we returned from lunch, they had just taken Talal to the cath lab before we arrived at his room again. When we had found the cath lab, we were met by Talal's mother and spent the next couple of hours waiting with her. She is a very courageous and joyful woman. Talal has a fiery side, and in the time I spent with his mother today, I became convinced he got it from his mother.

Talal was not having a corrective cath; it was only to allow the doctors to get a clearer picture of what's going on in his heart. The cath took longer than we were expecting, but all went well.

The doctors got all of the information they needed in the end, and we were told that Talal may possibly have his surgery as soon as next week, though nothing is certain yet. Please keep him and his mother in your prayers.

Talal's Willing Heart

Posted on Tue, 05/05/2015 - 22:35 by Jesse Tilman

Talal was admitted today in preparation for his catheterization tomorrow. Mother and son are in good spirits, and are excited whenever we ask for their participation. 

During the walk to the hospital ward, Talal got going too quickly though, and started to get weak and dropped his chocolate wafer bar! He was about to sit down for a bit, but allowed me to pick him up and carry on. At the nurses' station, he bravely worked through the admission processes.

We thank God for this special pair, and we pray for their time and procedures done here will be smooth and full of Jesus’ love.

Home Again

Posted on Wed, 04/29/2015 - 16:36 by Kristina Kayser

Sophie and I were praying for and looking forward to spending time with Talal and his mother as we headed to Wolfson this morning. Doctors had scheduled Talal as one of four children to have a cardiac catheterization today. We were prepared to walk through this procedure with them, but events changed soon after our arrival. A nurse informed us that Talal's scheduled cath would be postponed until next week and that we were free to bring him and his mother back to Jerusalem. 

Both mother and son were bright and energetic when we met them, and happier still that they could leave the hospital. Talal bravely allowed the nurse to remove his IV, and we were on our way. After a few minutes of getting to know each other, they quickly fell asleep and rested for the remainder of the drive.

I am convinced that Talal and his mother will bring light and joy into our home! As we wait for next week's catheterization, the days will be well spent becoming further acquainted with them. Praise God for the good plans He has for this sweet boy!

Brave Starts and Crocodile Tears

Posted on Tue, 04/28/2015 - 22:11 by Judith Schmidt

It is always very exciting to welcome new Shevet members at the Shevet center. Yesterday, late in the evening, a beautiful eight-year-old boy named Talal and his mother arrived at our house. Today, the two of them had to get up early to go to the Wolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv for Talal's first examinations. Ruth and I were very honored to escort both of them to the hospital and to get to know them a better. 

Talal is a very content child. He is very open and is able to make a connection with everyone in a second. His mother is as content as he is with a loving and thankful heart and a great sense of humor. 

Soon after we arrived at the hospital, Talal started talking to me in Arabic, not knowing that I am not able to speak Arabic. All day, he would look at me and start to talk Arabic, joking, asking questions, and telling me stories without me being able to understand. Still, he never stopped trying to communicate. I tried my best to figure out what he could mean, and his mother, who speaks a little English, helped me a lot. 

We had times of laughter and times of tears. Big crocodile tears were running down Talal's pretty face when the nurses told him that there is a bed where he could wait. Seeing the hospital pajamas and the bed reminded him of the surgeries he has had before. He was very tense. But his mother tried her best to calm him down, telling him nothing would happen to him and that he has to be brave for now. 

This precious little boy was really brave, facing all kinds of examinations that day, as well as long waiting times. But he endured everything with great patience and a happy attitude. 

During the waiting times, we tried to make the time pass by looking at pictures from home, doing puzzles, joking with the hospital clown, and playing with other kids.

In 2010, Talal had a surgery in Syria in which, among other things, he had a pacemaker installed. His oxygen level is very low. That is why he has blue lips most of the time. While we were at the hospital today, doing the first examinations, the doctors tried to figure out what the doctors in Syria had repaired. To get more precise information, they decided to keep Talal and his mother overnight in the hospital so that Talal can have a catheterization tomorrow.